June 22, 2021 6:24:41 pm
By Dr Kaberi Banerjee
Covid-19 has left our world upside down, especially for expecting mothers. Pregnancy is a phase of turbulent emotions while the body transitions and adapts to the needs of the foetus. In the case of an IVF pregnancy, the sense of uncertainty is even higher owing to the process and treatment for planting fertilised eggs in the body before the beautiful new journey begins.
For you to have a healthy and happy IVF pregnancy here are some very important things that you must know especially in these very testing times when we are amid the second wave of Covid-19-
1. Those of you mothers who can be at a high risk of diabetes, hypertension, chronic pulmonary transplant, or hepatic disease must timely and regularly most preferably through online methods of consultation rather than visiting a clinic. Additionally, if you have undertaken a transplant or are getting immunosuppressants or various medical therapies, you should do so only under expert supervision and maintain a journal for the same to keep a track of your progress.
2. Please know that it is always your personal decision to continue the treatment or postpone it. However, data shows that the threat of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) infection in women who are of reproductive age seems low. Additionally, data suggests that the risk of transmission from a mother to the baby is low. There is also no increased risk of miscarriage and congenital malformation. There is, however, a slight increase in preterm delivery.
3. If you are planning to start your journey of being a mother with IVF treatment, please know that you must fill the ART risk assessment triage survey evaluation two weeks prior to taking the treatment. If post-triage, your doctor suspects any form of infection, do undergo an RT-PCR test.
4. Only visit an IVF clinic that follows necessary precautions against Covid-19 such as social distancing, daily screening of their staff, and hygienic environment.
5. To all the mothers who sometimes feel exhausted and tired and do not want to get up from their beds, please know that at least 45-60 mins of activity is extremely important for you and your baby. Take a small walk, practice yoga, or just perform some light daily chores to keep your body active. Being overweight or underweight can be problematic in the case of Covid-19.
6. Relieve yourself from the mental pressure with some light music or meditation. Remember it is only a healthy mind that fosters a healthy body.
7. A pregnancy is for both the mother and the father and hence the partner/donor must take tests to ensure that he is negative for COVID before taking the procedure. Here it is the responsibility of both the mother and the father for the future of their baby. Only if the RTPCR tests negative for both the father and the mother can any IVF procedure be initiated.
The above guidelines are some very important steps to help you through this tough phase of transition. Unlike normal pregnancy, an IVF pregnancy has its different steps of procedures and in the current scenario, it is necessary that you take every possible precaution.
The new virulent strain seems to affect the respiratory system harder in some pregnant women. Strict precautions, vaccination and timely medical care must be taken.
On a closing note, one must always stay aware and avoid fake news. It is only your doctor’s advice that must be taken into consideration and one must not rely on every piece of information that is available on the internet. Please verify the source of information before you spread or believe the same. A healthy IVF pregnancy comes from informed and healthful decisions.
(The writer is an IVF Specialist and Director of Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre, New Delhi)
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