Planning pregnancy in a pandemic: Key tips for couples undergoing IVF treatment


As the covid infection is new to the mankind, its effect on the pregnant mother and fetus is not fully understood, but there is no data of evidence for the higher incidence of miscarriage, preterm birth or any type of birth defects.

By Dr. ILA GUPTA,

Planning pregnancy amid pandemic that too through infertility treatment or IVF is a challenging issue. Most of the patients undergoing infertility treatment put their consultation and IVF treatment on hold, waiting for the situation to be back to normal. There is fear and apprehension of contracting infection by making frequent visits to the hospital.

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As the covid infection is new to the mankind, its effect on the pregnant mother and fetus is not fully understood, but there is no data of evidence for the higher incidence of miscarriage, preterm birth or any type of birth defects.

Covid vaccination is considered safe while undergoing treatment or during pregnancy as reported by US study on pregnant patients. There is no need to delay planning for pregnancy after taking the vaccine. We need more studies and data to prove this.

Planning for fertility treatment in the current situation is purely a personal choice, there has been no guidelines restricting the fertility treatment.

Key tips for couples undergoing IVF treatment

Couples undergoing treatment should remain positive, healthy, calm and emotionally balanced.

Do’s and Don’ts

Wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth properly.

Cleaning and sanitizing hands frequently Avoid touching face frequently

Minimizing physical contact,

Avoid going out unnecessarily,

Maintain social distance.

Proper follow up with your doctor during treatment

Regular antenatal visits.

Follow your doctor advice sincerely

Avoid taking too many attendants with you to the hospital

Eat healthy , balanced diet

Avoid processed and junk food

Regular breathing exercises, yoga, meditation to keep you calm, relaxed and healthy.

Patients with other medical problems like high BP, diabetes, liver disease, kidney or lung disease or who are on immune suppressant medication should consult their doctor before planning for treatment and pregnancy.

Look for the specialized center

Centers dedicated for infertility and IVF treatment where the risk of contracting infection is minimum. There should not be too many patients at the same time, appointment time slots should be properly devised to minimize overcrowding.

Routine sanitization of all the areas of the centre with time to time staff training. Staff should be properly equipped with protective equipment and sanitation devices. One should avoid unnecessary visits. Also, implementation of online consultation or telemedicine to avoid face to face consultations can be considered. Follow the rule of appropriate social distancing even when you are visiting the hospital.

If you have come in contact with any Covid positive patient or have developed any symptoms of Covid while undergoing treatment or during pregnancy then avoid going to the hospital and consult your doctor for further advice.

Before planning for any invasive procedure, do RT PCR test to rule out for covid. Proceed further if it is negative. If it comes positive then cancel the cycle and consult your doctor for further advice.

We wish you a safe treatment journey, healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

(The author is Senior IVF Consultant and Clinical Director, Ferticity Fertility Clinics, Delhi. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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