Fertility, pregnancy and the COVID-19 Virus
As the COVID-19 increasingly challenges our health systems to provide the healthcare required for the ever-increasing number of infected patients, hospitals and clinics around the world have put routine medical care on hold. Fertility clinics are also advising its patients to comply to recommendations of self-isolation and are providing telehealth services to support with suggestions for preparing for pregnancy rather than providing the in-clinic fertility treatments.
There is little in the way of scientific publications to establish the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. What appears to be the case is that pregnant women are generally more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. It has also not currently been established as to whether there is a higher risk of transmitting the virus from mother to child.
Recommendations for patients that have reduced access to in clinic consultation and IVF treatment but still have the desire to have a child revolves around continued awareness for the ovulation cycles and evaluation of the fertile window in which the chances of pregnancy increase for natural conception.
Basal body temperature is your body's temperature at complete rest. When ovulating, the body basal temperature rises slightly making it easier to detect ovulation in an effort to increase the chance of getting pregnant. The use of fertility monitors can assist in the charting of temperature every morning upon waking up and recording the results. When the temperature increases by 0.25-0.45 degrees, you are in the process of ovulating. Continued collection and recording of these ovulation cycles will assist the clinicians to help restart IVF treatment when the fertility clinics resume operations.
Some clinicians are advising patients to take advantage of this difficult period by taking a break from the stress and mental distress of trying to get pregnant and to use this instead to rest and recuperate in preparation for further pregnancy attempts when the current crisis has subsided.
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