Answers to Common Questions on Covid-19 and Fertility
Couples looking forward to having children were caught unawares when the Covid-19 pandemic hit early 2020. Lockdowns forced almost the entire world to be sheltered at home. Questions popped up in the minds of couples who were actively trying to have children or those on IVF treatment. Should they delay their plans to have a baby? Should they continue with IVF treatment? Is it safe to become pregnant when the pandemic is still being contained? How safe is it to take a Covid-19 vaccine?
This article will answer some of those questions and more.
Will I be able to have a baby if either my husband or I have contracted Covid-19?
So far the studies conducted show that Covid-19 has no effect on female fertility. Does Covid-19 effect male fertility? A preliminary study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility seems to suggest that a moderate to extreme infection of Covid-19 may have an impact on male fertility reducing sperm production. However, it must be noted that any viral infection including the influenza, otherwise known as the common cold, can affect sperm count and motility temporarily. There is no evidence from science to show that the Covid-19 virus has any permanent effects.
When is it safe to start trying to get pregnant if I have had Covid-19?
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), if either partner has contracted Covid-19, they should avoid “getting pregnant for now and waiting until you fully recover before attempting conception (either naturally or via assisted reproductive technology).”
We recommend the same. If either partner has had Covid-19, we recommend that they regain health before they begin actively trying to partner conception.
If I get pregnant during the pandemic, is there a risk that my baby will get Covid-19?
Expectant mothers do not seem to carry a “higher risk” of contracting Covid-19 than healthy adults. However, all care and precaution must be taken, including the wearing of mask, washing hands frequently, and social distancing as per guidelines mandated by the government and health authorities.
If you do get pregnant during the pandemic, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can transfer from the mother to the fetus. The possibility of “vertical transmission” (when the mother may pass the infection to the baby at some point during pregnancy, during delivery, or after delivery) is very rare.
Is it safe to take a Covid-19 vaccine if I’m trying to get pregnant?
Women who want to get pregnant should be fully advised to assess their personal risk of exposure. If you do decide to take the vaccine you are advised not to get pregnant within three months of the first dose. We recommend you consult with your healthcare professional before taking the Covid-19 vaccine, if you are wanting to start a family.
If you are pregnant, please note that none of the Covid-19 vaccines have been fully tested on pregnant and breastfeeding women so far. Because research is lacking, several healthcare professionals advise these women not to take the vaccine.
Is it safe to start fertility treatment during the pandemic?
Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns presented immediate challenges to couples seeking infertility treatments. In in the initial months little was known about the virus and precautions had to be taken. Many couples had to postpone their plans for parenthood. But now with lockdowns easing and with more science on how the virus works, couples need not fear starting fertility treatment. There is no need to postpone plans for a family any more.
How safe is the Xenith IVF Clinic and what precautions are you taking for the safety of your patients?
Xenith has resumed treatment observing international and national guidelines for Covid-19 safety. We follow all the safety precautions to maintain safety for our patients. We are accepting new couples who come to us for consultation, diagnostics, and treatment.