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What couples taking IVF treatment need to know about taking the Covid jabs

Since the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, things have taken a hit, and extreme care and precaution is needed while undergoing an IVF treatment, – said Dr Kaberi Banerjee, medical director, Advance Fertility and Gynae Centre (AFGC)

“IVF treatments have helped couples in conceiving when they had lost all hopes. This remarkable progression in the field of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) has over the years brought happiness and hope in the lives of many individuals. However, since the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, things have taken a hit, and extreme care and precaution is needed while undergoing an IVF treatment,” said Dr Kaberi Banerjee, medical director, Advance Fertility and Gynae Centre (AFGC).

She added that in all the despair, hope lies in the fact that IVF treatments must be continued irrespective of the Covid situation as one would do in a normal pregnancy since there are extremely low chances that the Covid-19 virus is transmitted from mother to baby. “Also, with the vaccine being rolled out in the country, couples undergoing IVF treatment have become sceptical of whether to undergo the vaccination process or not,” she told indianexpress.com

What to do if your contract Covid-19 during or before the onset of an IVF treatment

But first things first, what if the couple contracts Covid-19 during the IVF treatment? In such a situation here are a few things that must be kept in mind, said Dr Banerjee.

*Do not think of postponing the IVF treatment as this is not just physically but also mentally challenging. IVF treatment and its success is largely based on hormonal changes and age and hence it is advised that you continue your treatment with all necessary Covid-19 precautions.

*Studies suggest that there has been no documented case of Covid-19 virus transmission during IVF lab treatment (culture of embryos, cryopreservation, or storing), neither in the donor nor the recipient. Hence, the chances of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) affecting moms, or their babies are very low.

*One key here is that all couples must ensure that they follow all necessary Covid precautions for the safety of those around them. Also, while in isolation, one must opt for online consultation as much as possible.

Should couples taking treatment take the vaccine?

To help you with this dilemma here are few things that all couples must know about taking covid jabs:

  1. Given the known risks and severity of COVID-19 disease during pregnancy, vaccination of pregnant women or women attempting pregnancy is recommended, including by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG). The same is suggested by Indian bodies as well.
  2. Covid-19 vaccination does not affect your IVF cycle — it is not a live vaccine. According to reports, couples who have undergone IVF treatment, post mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccination showed no in-between cycles differences in ovarian stimulation and embryological variables before and after receiving it. This means that as per the information available it is safe to carry on with your IVF treatment post-vaccination.
  3. mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine does not impact patients’ performance or ovarian reserve- In the immediate subsequent IVF cycle, the vaccine does not affect the patient’s health or the baby’s health.
  4. “It is best you do not take the vaccine during procedures like egg pick up or embryo transfer as fever after the vaccine may be confused with fever because of the procedure,” she explained.

“Times are tough but nature does not stop and so it is important that you continue to go ahead on a journey of adding love and hope through IVF treatment if needed, with all necessary precautions and steps in place,” Dr Banerjee said

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