In order to keep you informed as to current information on COVID-19, I am sharing the following answers to frequently asked questions on the impact of this novel coronavirus on fertility and pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the bottom line is that we just don’t have a lot of data, and it may take quite a while to actually figure out the entire impact of COVID-19 on human reproduction. As we learn more, I will share it with you.
We are also working hard to determine when and how we can restart active fertility treatment. In the meantime, you may easily continue your plans to get started by working with my clinical staff. I am also available to you for video or telephone conferences. Please call my office at 708-741-7012 to schedule appointments.
Also, if needed, you may contact me directly through my email at email@example.com. Please stay safe and I hope to touch base with you soon.
QUESTION #1 – How does COVID-19 impact fertility potential?
The current and most accurate answer is – there is NO CLEAR DATA! There is no clear data to support direct impact of COVID-19 on male or female fertility potential. There is no clear evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through reproductive cells.
Early and untested published discussions (not peer-reviewed!) that sperm counts were lower in men who were infected was REMOVED as there was no evidence of the virus in the testes of infected males.
We have NO information that COVID-19 is transmitted in oocytes or embryos.
QUESTION #2 – How does COVID-19 affect pregnancy?
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of infection and serious illness due to the physiologic and immunologic changes that come with pregnancy.
High fevers during the 1st trimester can increase the risk of certain birth defects.
Increased miscarriages and stillbirths have been seen with other coronaviruses and infections.
There is mixed information on the use of antiviral medication in pregnancy
To date, there is no FDA-approved drug for COVID-19 treatment, and those being tried are contraindicated in pregnant women (meaning the FDA has not rated them for use in pregnancy, and we have no data from clinical trials in pregnant women).
Antivirals used for other influenzas are labelled Pregnancy Category C, which means they can be used if the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the fetus. BUT NOTE: These drugs do NOT work against COVID-19.
Transmission to newborns is not likely, but data is limited.
There are no known cases of COVID-19 transmitted in breast milk. However, some countries are recommending infected mothers not breastfeed their infants, and remain isolated from their babies for two-weeks after the birth.