Should I put my fertility treatment on hold amid pandemic? Know what an expert has to say

By: |
June 03, 2021 1:10 PM

he deadly coronavirus too is mutating every now and then and is coming up with a more virulent variant.

IVFA fertility treatment starts in a couple’s life when they couldn’t conceive naturally after trying it for a year.

By Dr. Aswati Nair,

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic only adds to the woes of couples undergoing fertility treatment, they are in a fix whether they should go ahead with this time-sensitive process or put it on hold for some time. The deadly coronavirus too is mutating every now and then and is coming up with a more virulent variant. Moreover, the black and white fungus is another two infections that are now engulfing the country. Since most of the states in India are currently under lockdown or strict curfews, it is definitely tough to decide whether to continue with your fertility treatment or not.

What does fertility treatment entail?

A fertility treatment starts in a couple’s life when they couldn’t conceive naturally after trying it for a year. So, without wasting any further time, the couple should start considering scientific treatment options for conceiving. A fertility treatment typically refers to medications that stimulate ovulation increase or sperm production, or procedures that involve the handling of eggs, sperm, or embryos. It also involves many surgical interventions and demands lifestyle changes, weight loss, or treatment of an underlying medical condition.

The infertility expert will chalk out a treatment that will depend on the cause or causes behind your infertility, whether the problem is from the woman’s side, the man’s side or both sides, or remains unexplained. However, the good news is that 80 to 85 percent of couples dealing with infertility are treated by treatment including medications and surgery, less than 15 percent are treated by assisted reproductive technologies like IVF.

However, over a year couples undergoing fertility treatments witnessed a setback owing to the coronavirus pandemic under which sometimes non-emergency/elective medical procedures were put on hold. The uncertainty and fear of the unprecedented challenges have made couples’ dream of parenthood through IVF into a big question. The pandemic is only adding to their stress.

Is delaying fertility treatment a good idea?

Fertility treatments are normally time-sensitive for certain age-groups. If a woman is beyond 30 with a long duration of fertility and has a poor ovarian reserve, then she can avail fertility preservation due to malignancies and other conditions. In such a scenario, if the couple will wait for the pandemic to subside then delayed IVF procedure will lower the chances of the success of the treatment. In turn, the couple may feel paranoid, anxious, and depressed. You must be aware that assisted reproductive technology (ART) has allowed many couples to fulfill their dream of becoming proud parents and enjoy parenthood. Thus, not neglecting the signs of infertility and starting off the treatment at the right time can help the couple conceive.

Measures To Ensure a Safe Fertility Treatment

As the virus is now air-borne, wear double masks the minute you step out of your house. Keep sanitizing your hands at the regular interval and social distancing.

Make sure the clinic follows all the safety procedures including checking the body temperature and pulse rate, seating arrangement with appropriate social distancing, usage of suitable protective gear for both the patient as well as the doctor, regular sanitization of the surroundings as well as regular sanitization of all medical equipment in the clinic.

Avoid stepping out unnecessarily. If you are not required to physically meet your doctor, then utilize the tele-consultation services offered by the fertility clinic.

Consult your doctor if you’re planning to take the COVID vaccination.

Since fertility treatments are time-consuming procedures and could be stressful, a couple should be mentally prepared for it. Speak with your doctor, and mentally prepare yourself for the journey ahead of you. Enhance your knowledge about the process, and take feedback from the couples about their journey. Don’t make any haste decisions and ensure whatever you have zeroed in on, it’s based on mental and physical well-being.

(The author is Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, New Delhi. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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