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Fertility & COVID-19

Fertility & COVID-19

Fertility & COVID-19

April 2020

By Dr. Nidhi Jha

IVF is a treatment for infertility caused by a range of issues, including problems with ovulation, poor sperm or egg quality and endometriosis. It is highly time-sensitive for two reasons: Fertility in both men and women declines with age, and the treatment requires carefully scheduled medications and regular appointments to check how the body is responding to them.

If patients respond to the drugs, their ovaries produce more eggs than normal, which are removed via surgery and fertilized with a partner's or a donor's sperm. The resulting embryos are grown in a lab for a few days before being implanted in the uterus or frozen for a later transfer.

At each stage of the process, any hiccup has an indirect effect that delays possible pregnancy. So, yes COVID-19 is a spoke in the wheels but we hope the worst will be over soon.

Q- Does COVID-19 affect/impact fertility?
A- There is no study or published data that suggests that this virus impacts fertility.

Q- Should I delay seeing a fertility specialist or moving forward with fertility treatment in light of COVID-19?
A- Our understanding is that patients with low risk going through treatments such as IVF are at no greater risk than anyone else in the population. Most individuals of reproductive age who are not suffering from diabetes, blood pressure problems or heart disease are not considered “high-risk” for COVID-19. Therefore, such patients may not necessarily delay new consultations or treatment cycles. Southend Fertility & IVF offers telehealth consultations where you can seek advice through a video call for an initial consultation or plan how best to continue on your journey with follow up appointments to build up a treatment plan that can be followed through when you are ready.

Q- If my spouse and I have recently travelled abroad, should we go ahead with fertility treatment?
A- It is advisable to wait for three weeks after your return before starting your treatment. Please call our clinic for further advice.
Q- Are my eggs/embryos at risk of contracting COVID-19?
Please be rest assured that your eggs & embryos are absolutely safe in our labs. All the embryology labs at Southend clinics are located in areas that are away from patient movement. 
Q- How will the COVID-19 lockdown affect the services provided by Southend?
A- Our centres will open post the lockdown.We are offering telemedicine consultations are available over the phone & emails from Mon-Sat from 9 am-5 pm.
These consults are for new and established patients so that you may resume evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. We will continue to offer urgent services for our patients with medical and obstetrical concerns related to fertility treatments.
We would like to assure you that Southend is committed to providing the best care in the safest possible environment. Southend understands that we have a social responsibility towards our patients, staff & will do what is in the best interest of all.  This is an unforeseen and stressful time for all of us but we should stay positive!                       

   Tips on Fertility and COVID-19

  • Postpone embryo transfer when possible, freeze your eggs & embryos.
  • Connect with your doctor through videoconferencing/emails/phone.
  • Make a plan with your treating doctor if you are already mid-cycle.
  • Take care of your mental & physical well being.
  • Develop a daily routine & follow it.
  • Stay focussed on positivity.
  • Limit your time on social media & news related to COVID-19
  • Avoid putting on excess weight during your time at home, as the weight can impact fertility.