Welcome to 2020—the year of the novel coronavirus.
This microscopic virus has changed everything. Schools were canceled, work was shut down, and social gatherings became dangerous. Every person, business, and industry has been affected.
Including everything related to reproductive medicine.
The truth is, fertility treatments have been put on hold due to Covid-19. Let’s take a closer look at why and what we can do next.
When Covid-19 hit, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, or ASRM, recommended suspending all new infertility treatments. This meant closing infertility clinics, canceling all upcoming appointments, halting all IVF cycles.
As any responsible organization should, the ASRM wanted to safeguard all their patients and staff. As a community of providers, they need to comply with the public health recommendations put in place.
Here is a quick rundown of the guidance given by the ASRM regarding Covid-19 and fertility treatments.
Hold off on all new treatment cycles
Consider canceling all embryo transfers — fresh or frozen
Continue to care for “in-cycle” patients
Suspend all elective surgeries and procedures
Minimize person interactions and utilize telehealth
These guidelines are meant to encourage social distancing and reduce the demand on the health care system.
Non Essential Businesses
Unfortunately, fertility clinics are considered a non-essential business, and fertility treatments are considered elective. And since all elective surgeries and procedures have been put on hold, couples who are ready to go ahead with egg donation or embryo transfers have to wait.
But some say that this discriminates against all couples who depend on fertility treatments, including same-sex couples. Those who rely on IVF have fewer options to get pregnant and may lose their window of opportunity if fertility clinics remain closed.
What defines an essential business? Any business essential to the economy’s infrastructure is considered essential, including supermarkets, daycare, and emergency rooms.
But so is Starbucks. So why aren’t fertility clinics?
Some advocates think that the intended parents should be able to decide whether or not they should start treatment. For some, this may be their only chance to start a family.
What are the Risks of Covid-19?
The longterm effects of Covid-19 are still mostly unknown. According to the ASRM, we don’t know how this new virus could affect unborn babies.
And then there’s the goal of “flattening the curve.” As a society, we had the responsibility to help flatten the curve as not to overwhelm the healthcare system. Fewer people needing health care means more resources for hospitals to battle Covid-19.
Suspending fertility treatments means more masks and gowns for medical workers.
Another risk with fertility treatments is the number of people any patients could come in contact with. There are several specialists and workers they come in contact with, including doctors, nurses, technicians, and phlebotomists.
We know that sheltering in place is one of the most effective ways to fight this pandemic.
Long-term Affects of Covid-19
One of the most severe long-term effects of Covid-19 is mental illness. Because of the isolation and sudden change in our way of life, many people suffer from depression and anxiety.
Couples who have to postpone their fertility treatments have to navigate emotions as they have to wait to start their family. Feelings of despair, frustration, and sadness can feel too heavy to bear.
If you feel like this pandemic is taking a toll on your mental health, please seek help immediately. These are uncertain times, and we are all doing our best to navigate the situation. Still, sometimes the pain and disappointment from having to change our life plans are too much.
What We Suggest
While some clinics may still be closed, and there are restrictions on specific procedures, there are some things you can do.
At Elevate Egg Donor Agency, we still encourage our intended parents to be proactive. Here’s what you can safely do during a pandemic
Find your Egg Donor
We have an extensive egg donor database. With the stay-at-home order, you can take your time and be very thorough in finding the perfect egg donor. Take your time reading each bio and find an egg donor you feel connected to.
Find Your Surrogate
After choosing an egg donor and having your embryos, you will need a surrogate to carry the baby. We can help you find the right surrogate.
Make Decisions Beforehand
During the egg donation process, there are individual decisions that need to be made. Such as, what kind of relationship you want with the egg donor or whether to freeze your embryos.
Don't Give Up
We get it. This pandemic has thrown everyone off, but it’s not time to give up on your family dreams. Contact us today, and we can help you get started.
We’re not ready to let a pandemic slow us down, and you shouldn’t be either.