Can Covid-19 affect an IVF process? Know how long you should wait to avoid any risks

Are you planning for IVF treatment but confused about how long you should wait for IVF after Covid-19 recovery? Read on to find the answer.
Covid-19 might increase the risk for IVF procedures. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Gunjan Sabherwal Published on: 7 December 2022, 11:45 am IST
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The Covid-19 threat has not yet been eliminated completely. However, the repercussions of this dangerous disease seem reduced due to vaccinations. Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many people around the world have stalled their family planning plans. With vaccinations and routine health care checkups on a regular basis, some couples are now considering parenthood. If you are one of those who were infected with Covid-19 and intend to undergo IVF treatment, below are some of the factors you should keep in mind.

IVF after Covid-19 recovery

Conceiving soon after recovering from Covid-19 may have serious consequences for both the newborn’s and the mother’s health. This is due to the fact that the coronavirus infection not only infects our respiratory system but also has an impact on other parts of the body. Furthermore, in some cases, Covid-19 symptoms can even appear years after the initial infection. The nine-month-long pregnancy journey is difficult, and on top of that, if your body is not prepared to handle the drastic changes, things can turn complicated. For all of these reasons, it is best to postpone the pregnancy for a while.

The couple should consult a fertility specialist when planning a pregnancy.
An initial assessment of both partners should be done to determine the ovarian reserve and the semen parameters.

A woman goes through a lot during IVF treatment. Care a little! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How long should you wait for IVF after Covid-19 recovery?

If your Covid infection was mild and you recovered quickly, it is safe to proceed with IVF treatment once you are feeling well. If the infection was moderate to severe, you should be evaluated by both a physician and a fertility specialist before coming to a conclusion. People who were in the intensive care unit (ICU) are required to wait longer before initiating IVF treatments as they may suffer from underlying medical issues or be immunocompromised. On the other hand, if you recently contracted the disease, you should perform the necessary tests and gain a thorough evaluation before proceeding with IVF. Ideally, the couple should start treatment after 1-2 months of negative testing.

4 precautions you must before starting IVF treatment in Covid-19 times:

1. Vaccination

In today’s post-Covid era, one of the most important steps that couples must undertake before starting their journey towards parenthood is ensuring that they are fully vaccinated. It is a common misconception that vaccination can affect parental fertility. Getting vaccinated has no impact on a person’s ability to conceive or the normal growth of the offspring. In fact, many studies state that couples undergoing IVF treatment can benefit from the Covid-19 vaccination, as it helps develop an effective, potent mechanism (antibody) against the disease.

Also read: 6 things that are off-limits if you plan to opt for IVF

2. Healthy lifestyle

Staying healthy is essential not only for IVF but also for improving your overall quality of life. Steer clear of vices such as drinking and smoking. Exercise, yoga, and a healthy sleep routine would be beneficial for both your mental and physical health. A balanced diet consisting of nutrition, protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates is critical for getting your health back on track. Avoid fast food and engage in timely physical activities to ensure proper mobilization of joints.

Stay healthy when it comes to IVF. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Continue Covid-19 precautions

Continue to adhere Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing. Remember, being infected once does not preclude you from becoming infected again.

Also read: How long should you wait for another IVF cycle after an unsuccessful one? An expert answers

4. Reduce stress

Consciously make an effort to reduce your stress. IVF can be stressful for couples, and now with the pandemic in the mix, the anxiety is bound to rise. As a result, having a strong support system is crucial. Join support groups, connect with parents who are also undergoing fertility treatments, and seek help from your friends and family in times of need. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, and evening walks.

About the Author
Dr Gunjan Sabherwal

Dr Gunjan Sabherwal, Fertility Expert, Nova Southend IVF and Fertility, Gurugam.

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