NEW DELHI: Motherhood is an experience enjoyed by many. Some women though take the help of 'Assisted Reproductive Technology' (ART) for conception. But the ongoing COVID-19 has affected plans of becoming a mother for those women who were planning to undergo the 'In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment'.
Such women have postponed their consultations, while others have delayed their dates of embryo transfer until the pandemic situation ends and life comes back to normal.
In the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the gynaecologists are managing the antenatal care during pregnancy through online video consultations in order to limit the exposure to the outside world.
"At the same time it is essential to follow the safety and preventive measures until delivery," said doctor Sagarika Aggarwal, Gynaecologist, Indira IVF Hospital. She also added, "There have not been any guidelines regarding the restrictions on any type of ongoing fertility treatments, but is currently a voluntary choice in order to prevent exposure of the mother and foetus to infections, as multiple visits and special care are required."
While novel coronavirus has equal potentials to penetrate and spread irrespective of gender and age, many think that women trying to conceive (naturally or through ART) are slightly at an increased risk of infection due to their lower immunity.
"However, the IVF procedure requires special care and attention during the process and after conception, precautions have to be taken as in the normal conception case. Hence, there is no need to panic for those who have conceived through the IVF," said Agarwal.
According to the experts, due to hormonal changes, pregnancy itself takes a toll on the woman's mental health, causing stress, anxiety, depression, anger, mood swings, and during this phase it is quite important to take care of health. Women undergoing the IVF treatment or those who are pregnant need to stay positive and there needs to be a balance for emotional well-being.
The IVF is an ART comprising controlled ovarian hyperstimulation followed by retrieval of eggs from the ovaries, fertilization with sperms in the laboratory and subsequent transfer of the so-formed embryos inside the uterus. The embryos are cultured in the laboratory from 3-5 days.
The treatment is now highly refined with the application of the ICSI (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection), Blastocyst culture, Laser Assisted Hatching, TESE (testicular sperm extraction) to name a few.
"IVF is useful not just in blocked fallopian tubes, but also in women with poor or diminished ovarian reserves, PCOS, POF, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, abnormal semen parameters, in couples married for long with primary or secondary infertility, unexplained infertility and in couples with failure of non-ART cycles.
With the ongoing corona pandemic situation, counselling plays a major role. Understanding and supporting each other around this time could bring about a great deal of strength in progressing with the treatment," said doctor Arvind Vaid, a city-based IVF Expert.