If you're trying to have a baby, you may wonder how COVID-19 could affect the course of your pregnancy. Like any other prenatal concern, it’s best to discuss the situation with your fertility clinic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not yet know whether pregnant women have a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19; however, women, in general, have proven more likely to get seriously ill from viruses that belong to the same family. As such, pregnant women are advised to take all recommended safety precautions to limit their exposure to COVID-19.
This includes maintaining social distancing, avoiding people who are sick, and cleaning their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer often. Your fertility clinic or OB-GYN practice may also instruct you to schedule fewer prenatal visits farther apart or to have telehealth visits for the time being.
Protecting Your Baby
Researchers have not recorded an increased risk of fetal malformations or miscarriage in pregnant women who have tested positive for COVID-19. Based on limited data regarding similar viruses, though, pregnant women who get infected with COVID-19 may have a higher risk of preterm birth and other complications.
If you think you’ve been exposed to the virus, ask your provider about getting tested, and discuss the measures you can take to increase the chances of carrying your baby to term.
As far as passing the infection to a fetus, the risk appears to be incredibly low. In one study, the virus was not present in amniotic fluid or breast milk among women who tested positive for COVID-19 and exhibited symptoms. That means if you do happen to test positive, your baby will still likely be born happy and healthy.
Finally, get an influenza shot to prevent the seasonal flu. It is important so that you do not need to seek healthcare during the pandemic, or become sicker in case you get both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
If you struggled to get pregnant prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and you’re worried about carrying your baby to term, turn to the compassionate team at Diamond Institute for Infertility & Menopause. Located in Millburn, NJ, this fertility clinic has been serving both individuals and couples since 1968. A member of The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, they offer a broad range of fertility treatments. To explore all the services that this fertility clinic provides, visit their website. To request an appointment, call (973) 761-5600.