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How Will COVID-19 Affect Your Pregnancy Plans?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in society, causing people to work from home and employing tactics such as social distancing and self-isolation to help stop the spread of the virus.

April 27, 2020
Bridget Houlihan

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in society, causing people to work from home and employing tactics such as social distancing and self-isolation to help stop the spread of the virus. Perhaps the pandemic has got you thinking about whether or not this is the time to try and become pregnant? And if you do get pregnant, what does that mean for you and your baby? In this article we’ll discuss what the medical experts know so far when it comes to pregnancy and the COVID-19 virus.

If I Have COVID-19, Will it Impact Future Fertility?

At this time, there does not seem to be serious effects on future fertility. People have had the virus and recovered without noticeable problems relating to their fertility. Although some people fear that it might have effects and have sought out ways to prevent this (e.g. egg freezing), this shouldn’t be necessary if you have not contracted the virus. There is nothing to suggest that if you do get the virus that you will require assistive reproductive technology either.

While you don’t have to delay your plans to become pregnant, waiting a few months might prove to be a little easier.

Should I Stop Trying to Get Pregnant at this Time?

If you are trying to get pregnant and have not contracted the virus, there is no reason to change your plans, so you can feel free to continue to try and conceive naturally. However, you may want to consider delaying conception due to the fact that accessing medical care while you are pregnant might prove to be inconvenient. Pregnant women need to see their doctors much more often than other people, and even with telehealth options, you might find it logistically more difficult to get the care you need. If you’re flexible on timing, consider waiting a couple of months before trying to conceive.

Can Mothers Pass the Virus to Their Baby?

It is still unknown whether or not mothers can transmit the virus to their babies before, during, or after delivery. There have been some studies done leading experts to believe vertical transmission from mother to child is rare, but additional studies will be needed to confirm this. Experts have not found the virus in these studies to be in breast milk, cord blood, amniotic fluid, or in swabs from the infants’ throats.

Should I Delay Fertility Treatments?

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggests that fertility clinics do not take on new patients for IVF, IUI, or other fertility treatments. Those patients that are currently going through a cycle will continue to receive treatments and telehealth appointments are preferred unless absolutely necessary. If you have COVID-19 and are in an ART cycle, they recommend that you call and speak to your doctor and follow their recommendations.

Although there are not a lot of studies on the effects of COVID-19 and pregnancy, it does seem that it is safe to continue to try and conceive naturally at this time. However, if you’re flexible on timing, you might want to consider delaying pregnancy by a few months if you are able to.

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