What to expect in terms of your Infertility Treatment in times of worldwide Pandemic
COVID19 or CORONA as the world calls it, has created more fear and fatality than anything else known to us in recent past. Novel Corona virus has been declared a Global Pandemic affecting nearly 203 countries. At difficult times like these, it is obvious that everything else has to wait.
Infertility treatment being an elective procedure, will have to wait, until things are back to normal. However it is natural that many patients, especially the ones who were undergoing IVF Cycles will have a lot of questions and anxiety about the uncertainty around their treatment.
We have tried to address these questions based on the time of the IVF Cycle that a patient could have been and tried to elaborate on what the patient should expect after things are back to normal.
Patients who have undergone Egg Collection or Ovum Pickup in a Freeze All IVF Cycle
In an IVF / ICSI cycle, after ovarian stimulation and Oocyte Retrieval has been performed, there is no need to worry as the embryo’s can be kept cryopreserved for 5 years. Once things settle down and the lock down is lifted, Embryo Transfer can be planned.
Patients who have had their Embryo Transfer and await to test bHCG
After Embryo Transfer, it is very important that you continue all medicines and injections till you get the result of beta HCG. Urine pregnancy test is not reliable. Blood test for Quantitative beta HCG can be done at a nearby hospital and report can be sent on whatsapp or e-mail. Once the report has been discussed with the Infertility Ppecialist, further course can be determined. Keep in mind that medicines are not to be stopped until then.
Patients who have had a failed Frozen Embryo Transfer and awaiting another FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)
The next embryo transfer cycle can be electively performed in later months once the Covid 19 situation is under control. Those who do not have spontaneous regular menstrual cycles may need to take regular medicines till they undergo Embryo Transfer. These medicines can be easily procured from nearby chemist and the prescription can be obtained via email or whatsapp from your fertility or IVF Specialist.
Patients who had bHCG Positive and awaiting regular Antenatal scans and checkups
- Awaiting NT Scan – Check with your local Fetal Medicine Specialist.
- Awaiting Target Scan – Contact a hospital that can perform a Target Scan. If not possible get it done as soon as the situation normalizes.
- Awaiting Growth Scans – In low risk pregnancies, growth scans can be delayed by a few days. In high risk pregnancies, where fetal growth is sub optimal you should get monitoring done in a hospital that is providing such facilities.
- Near Term Patients – Need to be monitored on a regular basis at hospitals providing such ante natal care.
Patients whose IVF Stimulation cycle was initiated but had to be cancelled due to Lock down.
If the injections for ovarian stimulation had to be stopped midway, you will need to take some medicines to ensure regular menstrual cycles. This will be prescribed by your IVF specialist. Also remember that there is always a chance of becoming pregnant naturally in unexplained infertility, ovulatory dysfunction and mild male factor sub fertility. So hope for the best and plan your next IVF cycle once the crisis is over.
Patients who haven’t started treatment yet, but want to plan it soon
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep in touch with your Infertility Specialist in case any investigations or medicines are needed prior to initiation of the IVF cycle.