IVF In Lockdown: How To Navigate Fertility Treatment In A Pandemic

Going through fertility treatment is hard at the best of times. It can be incredibly stressful and a time full of uncertainty. So much is at stake when you decide to try for a baby. It’s not only physically hard, it’s also financially draining and emotionally taxing. And that’s at the best of times.

What we are currently experiencing is probably the worst of times. Some people may choose to delay treatment, but for many people, that is simply not an option. You might think that the pandemic would cause a drop in those seeking fertility treatment, but no.

Interestingly, the Irish fertility clinics are busier than ever. Whether that’s down to people getting to grips with their priorities in life, or perhaps it’s simply down to having more time at home to contemplate children, or the lack thereof.

How things work at the moment:

Usually, when undergoing fertility treatment, you and your partner can both attend all appointments. If you are a single person, you can bring a family member or friend with you. Because of the pandemic that is not possible. The clinics are trying to navigate the restrictions and continue offering their services, and in order to do this, they’ve had to minimise the number of face to face interactions. They’ve also put in a number of other safeguards to ensure that both you and their staff members are kept as safe as possible.

Things that are now required for your fertility clinic appointment:

  • Filling out a covid consent form
  • Paying for appointments in advance via phone
  • Arriving at designated times (as you cannot wait in the waiting rooms)
  • Wearing a facemask on arrival
  • Only the person undergoing treatment can attend the appointment. This may be one or both partners if you are going through treatment as a couple (egg retrieval, sperm donation, scans or blood tests, embryo transfer etc)

Other things to consider:

The period of time directly after a cycle of IVF/IUI is called the "two-week wait". This is a time where people like to keep busy and surrounded by friends and family while they await the news. Pregnant or not. It’s obviously not possible at the moment to do much so it’s important to have other ways to occupy your time. If you are not working, then it might be a good time to start trying some at-home yoga or meditation tutorials. There are some great ones on YouTube.

Fertility treatment is hard, but if there’s one thing it’s taught me it’s that we would have gone through absolutely anything to have our two children. My wife and I had to endure many setbacks on our own fertility journey, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

**The covid 19 vaccine is not recommended during early pregnancy and additionally most clinics have asked people to delay their fertility treatment by a month or two after they receive the vaccine.

Ranae von Meding

Ranae is a proud mama to her two girls Ava and Arya with her wife Audrey. Find her on Instagram @ranaevonmeding where she shares their journey as same sex parents and the ups and downs of life with little ones.

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