Author: Dr. Kathyani V S
Qualification : MBBS, DGO, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine
Is It Safe To Consider Conceiving Through IVF During Covid 19?
In Vitro Fertilisation or IVF pregnancy is a process in which an egg from a woman’s ovary is fertilised with a sperm in a laboratory. Once fertilised, the egg is then placed in the woman’s womb for growth. Most couples dealing with infertility who are trying to conceive often opt for this process. Studies conducted all around the world show that fertility in both men and women is on the decline. This could be as a result of various lifestyle factors like stress, nutrition, mobile radiation, organic pollutants, etc. Scientists suggest that our hectic lifestyle is one of the major factors that results in infertility, and the Covid-19 pandemic has done nothing but added to the woes of couples undergoing IVF pregnancy treatment. It has specially raised a lot of concerns among women who are currently pregnant or undergoing IUI or IVF pregnancy treatments. Questions like “Is it safe to consider conceiving through IVF during Covi-19? Could it harm the baby?” In this article, we attempt to answer all such questions that might be niggling in many minds.
Does Covid-19 affect pregnancy?
A wealth of research suggests that the risk of infection in a pregnant female is the same as in a non-pregnant female. Besides, there is almost no evidence to prove that pregnant women can transmit the infection to their babies. Moreover, the virus itself is not present in the breast milk or amniotic fluid. These facts do suggest that it is highly unlikely for COVID-19 to affect your pregnancy.
Does it impact your fertility?
Again, there’s no direct evidence to prove that COVID-19 or the vaccination has any impact on fertility. Although as a precautionary measure, it is advisable that all patients trying to conceive through IVF technology be tested at least twice.
Is it safe to consider IVF pregnancy during Covid-19?
Typically, the majority of patients of reproductive age are not among the high risk groups. Patients don’t need to delay or postpone the treatment just because of Covid-19. So, if you’re trying to conceive through IVF technology and wondering if it’s safe during Covid-19; the answer is yes, it is absolutely safe. In order to ensure absolute safety, many internationally recommended safety measures have been put in place at fertility centres. While most investigations are done through home visits, tele-consultations are done for the initial consultations. For initial tests like semen test and ultrasound, patients are sent to the clinics closest to them. Once the initial tests are done, the couple is requested for a one-time visit to the clinic for planning and initiating the treatment. Special air-cleaning units and sanitisation systems are installed in both the out-patient department and in-patient operation theatres. Intensive infection control measures and rigorous cleaning at all times ensures a safe, contamination-free environment. These precautionary measures further reduce the risk of COVID transmission.
Here’s a list of Dos & Don’ts for patients undergoing IVF pregnancy to keep the infection at bay:
- Social distancing (3-6 feet) is a must.
- Washing and sanitizing hands frequently.
- Disinfecting used surfaces regularly.
- When in public, must wear a face mask at all times.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose without sanitizing your hands.
If you decide that you want to conceive through IVF technology during Covid-19, these pointers will definitely help in keeping you safe from the infection. As far as the fertility centres are concerned, they seem to be doing their part in keeping everyone as safe as possible.
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