As of 22 April 2020, it is unclear how COVID-19 may affect pregnant women and those who are trying to conceive. We’ve put together a list of reliable sources so that you can keep up to date with new information on COVID-19 and pregnancy as it becomes available.
Trying for a baby?
If you are actively trying to conceive or hope to have a baby in future, it’s a great time to focus on your health so you can maximise your fertility, create a healthy baby, and stay as well as possible during pregnancy.
Good news! On April 21, the Australian Government said IVF clinics can gradually resume their procedural work, such as egg pick-up procedures from April 27.
You can read the announcement from here.
So, if you are wanting to resume fertility treatment or start fertility treatment, contact your clinic to discuss how to proceed. You will likely find that clinics are taking extra precautions to protect you and their staff from COVID-19, so be prepared for more online consultations, online forms, and other practices that will avoid unnecessary physical contact between people.
Dr Sutton’s update also includes a reminder that pregnant women should be considered potentially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly from 28 weeks’ gestation.
He said pregnant women should be encouraged to follow standard advice to protect themselves against COVID-19 such as good hand hygiene and physical distancing from others.
“Pregnant women should also be encouraged to have the seasonal influenza vaccine, as this will help to prevent them and their baby from catching influenza,” Dr Sutton’s update said.
COVID-19 vaccine update
If you are trying to conceive or pregnant, you may be wondering about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
While vaccines are not yet available in Australia, guidance for people in these two groups is beginning to emerge.
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology has issued an update on the following questions:
- Should men and women receive the COVID-19 vaccine before attempting conception?
- Should couples who received COVID-19 vaccination postpone conception, and if so, for how long?
- Should pregnant women be vaccinated?
You can read the full statement here. We will add further information as it becomes available.
The Australian Government’s information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found here.
If you want to stay up to date with what is known about COVID-19 and pregnancy and birth, you can follow the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ advice here.
You can also find updates from the Fertility Society of Australia here. The FSA is the peak body representing scientists, doctors, researchers, nurses, consumers and counsellors in reproductive medicine in Australia and New Zealand.
The International Federation of Fertility Societies has set up the IFFS COVID-19 Global Resource Center to provide global updates here.
The World Health Organization’s advice regarding pregnancy, child birth and COVID-19 has resources in languages other than English here.