By Dr. Parul Aggarwal
The pandemic outbreak caused disruptions at various levels. Ever since then, changes and upheavals have been a part of our lives. While Covid has rendered a significant impact on our respiratory systems, what cannot be ruled out is that the coronavirus has the capacity to affect the body at various levels, especially an individual’s sex life and fertility.
Two years and three waves later, the pandemic is very much there and so is the scare associated with it. Each and every wave came with a different set of consequences. The changes accompanied by every wave have been at physical, mental, and even sexual levels. New emotions were also experienced by people since this was a sudden event.
The impact of the pandemic on the IVF sector and individual’s fertility
The coronavirus inflicted a considerable impact on the IVF segment. Due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown and social distancing norms, fertility clinics were forced to shut down. Due to this, various ongoing IVF cycles had to suffer. Since IVF is a time-sensitive process, every day and week is crucial for couples planning a family through this process. Not only the operations of the clinics but their services including surrogacy pregnancies, IVF, egg freezing, etc. were also disrupted. The treatment schedules were changed and appointments transitioned into the remote zone which led to unrest, distrust, and emotional instability amongst the patients. The soon-to-be parents went through emotional turmoil during this time.
The notion that now often does the rounds is that Covid and its resurgence has an impact on one’s sexual life and an individual’s fertility. The myths about Covid affecting one’s sexual health and fertility have also emerged. There have been reports that stated that the coronavirus leads to a decrease in the semen quality as well. Proving their validation however still is a long way to go.
Busting the myth: Resurgent Covid waves impacting fertility
The fact of the matter is that research is going on and there are no concrete studies or journals that could prove this to be true. In fact, there is no study conducted to analyze the impact of Covid’s recurrence on the semen and eggs quality, menstruation cycles, and even pregnancy. However, what can’t be ruled out is that recurrent Covid waves have indeed disrupted the fertility segment. The IVF cycles have been witnessing disruptions and have been experiencing various gaps.
With Covid waves striking frequently, thorough research is needed to gauge the impact of the virus from the start and its variants on the quality of eggs and semen. In any couple’s life, starting a family is a huge step. It is in fact a milestone in their journey in life. Doing so with the assistance of medical help is of course a major decision since a lot of time, effort, finances, and emotions will be invested in the process. Hence, it is also the need of the hour for couples to prepare themselves mentally to have a baby. In case, if they wish to experience parenthood at a later stage and not now amidst the pandemic times, then, the couples can certainly consider options such as sperm banking and egg freezing.
Covid recurrence’s impact on fertility: An important subject
Since Covid is a major condition that we have been dealing with, its implication on our bodies of course cannot be ruled out. The virus comes with various consequences and aftereffects on our overall health. In such a scenario, the impact of the recurrent waves can affect our sexual life. The impact if not direct could be an indirect one due to disrupted health as a result of being infected with the coronavirus. There are no studies or research to prove that the resurgent waves possess the potential to directly impact one’s sexual life and fertility. However, it deserves to be an important subject to be studied, researched, discussed, and debated about by medical professionals and scholars.
(The author is Consultant – Reproductive Medicine, Milann Fertility Hospital, Delhi. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)