IVF During COVID-19: Should We or Shouldn't We?
COVID-19 cases began to rise again. We now have nearly fifty thousand daily cases and counting.
If you’re among the scores of people who have been watching and waiting to see when you can safely resume your IVF procedures, here’s what you should know.
Following the latest science
As part of a larger medical world, our team here at Ayaansh Hospital has plenty of resources when it comes to guiding our practice during these difficult times, chief among them:
- ICMR - Indian Council of Medical Science
ICMR have been working tirelessly over the last five months to provide us with the latest research and science behind COVID-19, and most of our decisions are based on their findings.
When you undergo an IVF cycle, you need to visit us fairly often for hormone treatments and egg harvesting, which increases your potential exposure, as well as our staff’s, to this dangerous virus.
While this was our first concern, we’ve had to watch and wait to see how, or if, COVID-19 affects pregnancy or your unborn child.
Enough time hasn’t passed for us to make definitive conclusions, especially when it comes to second or third-trimester issues, but here’s some of what’s been reported.
- No apparent first-trimester issues due to COVID-19
- Full-term deliveries by mothers with active COVID-19 have done well
- Severe illness from COVID-19 may cause premature labor or early delivery
- Breastfeeding still recommended, as transmission is unlikely
Also, pregnancy is associated with increased risk for intensive care unit admission and mechanical ventilation but is not associated with increased risk for mortality. Again, we underscore that these findings are subject to change as we learn more about the virus.
Why IVF now?
When you embark on IVF, you’ve likely already been down a long fertility road, so you want to make sure you have the best chances for success.
While there are no two situations that are alike, there are a few examples of when you might want to consider continuing with your IVF plans during this pandemic, including:
- Advanced maternal age (over 35)
- Low ovarian reserve
- Preexisting conditions that degrade fertility, such as endometriosis
We also want to emphasize that mental health issues play a critical role. If there’s a reason why starting your IVF now makes sense for your mental or emotional health, we certainly take that into consideration.
Outside of the categories listed above, the decision is really based upon your actions.
Do you take steps to minimize your risks through face coverings and social distancing? Do you work on the frontlines as a health care worker or other essential service? Do you have a preexisting respiratory or heart issue?
If you answer yes to the first question and no to the rest, you may be able to safely start your IVF.
Doing our part
If you decide that you want to go ahead with your IVF, we’re doing our part here at our practice to keep everyone as safe as possible, which includes:
- No waiting room
- Longer appointment times so we can sanitize between appointments
- Screening questionnaires before you visit
- Temperature checks when you arrive
- COVID-19 testing for all new patients
If you have more questions about beginning your IVF during the COVID-19 crisis, please contact us for queries related to Infertility & Covid-19.