Anyone who has undergone fertility treatment knows exactly how emotional and isolating it can be.
Now imagine that you are planning fertility treatments during this pandemic.
There are major concerns regarding the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy. Could pregnant women with COVID-19 develop symptoms different from those of non-pregnant women? Are they more likely to die of the infection or to give birth prematurely? And could the virus spread vertically and pose risks to the fetus and neonate?
At this time, very little evidence has been collected. There has been no hard evidence proving that COVID-19 causes vertical transmission from the expectant mother to the fetus or neonate. A recent paper published in the Lancet Journal outlines one case of a newborn that tested positive for COVID-19 in China. It is not known whether the infant contracted the disease shortly after birth, or while inside the womb.
The Center of Disease Control in the U.S (among other trusted sources) have recently stated that they do not know at this time whether COVID-19 could cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth. Keeping that in mind, the following precautionary measures are being recommended:
- New fertility treatment cycles will be suspended. Among other treatments, this includes all aspects of IVF (hormone therapy, egg retrieval, embryo transfers)
- Elective surgeries and non-urgent diagnostic procedures will be suspended