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Undergoing IVF treatment amid Covid-19 pandemic? Here’s how to ensure your safety

Updated on:31 August 2021, 11:40am IST
A step towards parenthood comes with its set of fears during the Covid-19 pandemic. Follow these precautions if you’re taking the IVF treatment route.
Dr Ila Gupta
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ivf treatment
Considering the IVF treatment route for pregnancy, are you? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The global spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has terribly influenced the healthcare system worldwide. The impact has also been felt on IVF treatment.

Only essential services were allowed as emergencies were announced and lockdown was imposed worldwide, but gradually as the situation is getting better, our healthcare system has allowed the functioning of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics and services. The impact of Covid-19 virus and its vaccination on pregnant women and the fetus is still not clear. So, the anxiety and fear of getting infected during treatment and plans for pregnancy through ART services in the current situation has become a cause of worry and apprehension among patients.

IVF treatment
Being cautious while going through IVF treatment. especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, is paramount. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Therefore, it’s necessary and important for all ART clinics to design the protocols and make strategies to minimize the risk of exposure to their patients and healthcare staff.

Patient information and counselling

Patients should understand that as Covid-19 is a new disease, the clinical knowledge about it is limited and there is no proof to believe that it is more severe during pregnancy.

Also Read: Remember these 5 things before you begin your IVF journey

IVF treatment
Mask up well, and practice social distancing. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The available studies do not show any evidence of increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome or increased risk of birth defects. Individuals seeking IVF treatment should be counseled in detail based on their clinical profile and risk factor, if any.

Patient and family members should know 

  • The symptoms of Covid-19 infection
  • Importance of wearing a mask
  • Cleaning and sanitising hands
  • Minimizing physical contact
  • Avoiding going out unnecessarily
  • Importance of social distancing
  • The need to follow your doctor’s advice sincerely.
  • Patients with other medical problems like high BP, diabetes, liver disease, kidney or lung disease or who are on immune suppressant medication should consult their doctor before planning for treatment and pregnancy.
  • Avoid taking too many attendants with you to the hospital.
  • Follow appropriate social distancing even when you are visiting the hospital for checkups.
  • If you have come in contact with any Covid positive patient or have developed any symptoms of Covid while undergoing IVF treatment or during pregnancy then avoid going to the hospital and consult your doctor for further advice.
  • Before planning for any invasive procedure, do RT-PCR test to rule out Covid. Proceed further if it is negative.
  • If it comes positive, cancel the cycle and consult your doctor for further advice.

Covid vaccination is safe while undergoing treatment or during pregnancy as reported by US study on pregnant patients. There is no need to delay planning for pregnancy after taking the vaccine. We need more studies and data to prove this.

  • Look for a centre, which is doing exclusively infertility and IVF treatment to minimize the risk of contracting infection.

Also Read: Busting the myths about COVID vaccination’s impact on fertility treatment

IVF treatment
Make sure you choose a clean and safe centre for your IVF treatment. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

An ideal IVF treatment facility should:

  • Conduct routine sanitization of all areas of the centre and time-to-time staff training.
  • There should not be too many patients at the same time, and appointment time slots should be properly devised to minimize overcrowding.
  • Staff should be properly equipped with protective equipment and sanitation devices.
  • Implementation of online consultation or tele-medicine to avoid face to  face appointments.

Following all these steps and measures while undergoing IVF treatment and pregnancy, one can have a safe journey and healthy baby.

Dr Ila Gupta Dr Ila Gupta

Dr Ila Gupta is the Director, Ferticity Fertility Clinics, Delhi