If you’re pregnant and trying to digest the daily fire hose of news about COVID-19, you probably have many questions. Goral Gandhi, a Clinical Embryologist, explains that while there’s still a lot we don’t know about the virus or how exactly it affects pregnant women and their babies, we asked health experts to help explain the latest understanding around coronavirus and pregnancy, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Does Coronavirus affect eggs?
It is not known if it affects oocytes. However, Dr. Goral Gandhi, the best embryologist in India, suggests that initiating fertility therapy should be postponed if you have flu-like symptoms and for two weeks if you have been in contact with an infected person or someone who has been in contact with a COVID-19 patient.
How does Coronavirus affect fertility and pregnancy?
Over the next several months, many people may be exposed to COVID-19. How many of these people will become infected remains unknown. It is known that few of these people who become infected will suffer dire consequences unless they are immune, compromised or suffer chronic medical illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses. The people most vulnerable appear to be those over 60 years of age, especially if they have a chronic medical history.
Can Coronavirus be passed to a baby during pregnancy?
There is no elevated risk of becoming infected with Coronavirus during pregnancy. Goral Gandhi says that pregnant women who do contract the disease do not appear to be more susceptible to severe COVID-19 symptoms. There is also no evidence, as of now, that the virus can pass to the baby during pregnancy.
What else should infertility patients do during this pandemic?
Infertility is a life crisis and extremely stressful. However, undergoing care for infertility should not be. This is challenging in the midst of a public health emergency like the Coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Goral Gandhi says that as per the recommendations by the ASRM and ESHRE, no new fertility treatments should be started during this time.
Goral Gandhi advises the patients to remain calm during this process as panic and distress can have a huge impact on the health of the person as well as their pregnancy. Being aware is the key to fighting this virus and everyone can win this together by carefully observing their symptoms and practicing certain practices like social distancing.