What does this mean for you?
This guest post was written by Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant and IVF coach.
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives beyond all recognition. Not one person in the worldwide has not had their lives touched in some way by COVID-19. And right now in our 'new normal, it is difficult to imagine when we will be back to 'normal' and indeed what 'normal' will then look like.
If you were due to start fertility treatments, you will by now be aware that your treatments, for the time being, have been cancelled. The British Fertility Society (BFS), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association (HFEA) have all stated that, in view of the unknown effects of Covid-19 on embryos and pregnancy, and in the midst of a public health emergency, no new fertility treatment cycles should be started. Stopping fertility treatments will enable redeployment of staff and importantly reduce any unnecessary burden on the NHS during this difficult time.
I know that, whilst you fully understand why this had to happen, that many of you are experiencing great distress and that you feel lost and abandoned. You are not alone in feeling this. If you are worried about your age, then you may be concerned that time is running out for you and feel anxious that you might not get another chance. You may have been waiting for fertility treatments for some time and now feel that Coronavirus is threatening all you have been working towards.
No one yet knows when fertility treatments can start again, but one thing that is for sure is that this time waiting doesn’t have to be wasted. At the time of writing, there are no guidance recommending that couples should avoid trying to conceive naturally (however I am keeping a close eye on this ever-changing situation and will update this article as necessary). If you are trying to conceive naturally or you will be going back to fertility treatments in the future, then you can use this time productively to get ‘pregnancy ready’.