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How does COVID-19 & potential stress during this time impact fertility?

Dr. Naj Knows Q&A

Here at CRHG we are taking the Coronavirus very seriously and so should you. We've had patients reach out and want to know how this could effect them or their partners. We encourage you to take the time to follow all the guidelines by the CDC

How does COVID-19 impact fertility/ ability to conceive? 

Studies so far have not found any medical concerns for those who are trying to conceive during the COVID-19 outbreak. Other concerns such as logistical, financial, emotional and psychological reasons may be aspects to take into consideration when planning on the growth of your family. These are all concerns that you should be aware of and discuss with your doctor because postponing pregnancy is a very personal decision that will vary based on circumstance.  We've worked with each of our current patients to make sure their fertility journey has most importantly been safe.   

Does COVID-19 impact pregnancy?

At this time there are no direct medical concerns with pregnancy and COVID-19. Expecting mothers are not considered to be “high risk” but should also take the proper precautions during this difficult time. Researchers will continue their studies on this topic, but as far as we know COVID-19 does not have a direct impact on pregnant women. We suggest you continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle at home.

Does stress correlate with fertility levels? 

Stress does indeed correlate with fertility. Many studies have shown how stress can impact the reproductive system, because of the fight or flight response the body has when dealing with high stress situations.  As a result any bodily system that is not necessary for survival, which includes the reproductive system. This is why during periods of high stress women can lose their menstrual cycle when dealing especially over extended periods of time. 

What are the types of stressors to monitor? 

Any type of stress can take its toll on the body and where these stressors come from vary. These sources of stress can come from financial burdens, social, emotional, or general health concerns. Do not discredit or dismiss any type of stress because they all have their impact on the body. Dealing with any combination or any of these commoner stressors alone is something to monitor. Stress alone is not the only reason why infertility occurs, but discovering infertility and taking on the stress of that can add to the body’s overall condition. Simply “relaxing” is not the cure but being aware of the stressors in your life can help the body’s overall condition. 

How to identify if these stressors are negatively impacting your daily life:

There are many different indicators to let you know how you are dealing with high levels of stress because your body will let you know. Changes in sleep such as not being able to fall asleep or the complete opposite and taking “stress naps”. Changes in appetite can be an indicator, when you start to notice a loss of appetite or constantly being ravenously hungry. Bowel function, such as constipation can be the body’s way of telling you, you are stressed. 

Ways to combat stress during the Stay at Home time frame: 

Find ways to create a sense of calm each day. For some people this is meditating, reading a book, speaking on the phone to someone you care about, anything that has NOTHING to do with watching the news or discussing the virus. It is important to get exercise and eat healthy as these are keys to creating a positive enviornment for the fertility process. Please stay healthy and safe during this difficult time. Our staff and I send you all the best wishes for patience, prosperity and health!  

 

 

Author
Dr. Sam Najmabadi Dr. Sam Najmabadi is a member of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI). Members of SREI are a select group of physicians who are committed to providing excellence in reproductive health through education, research, and patient care. Membership is limited infertility physicians who have been certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) as having special knowledge and proficiency in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology and in the subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Fewer than 800 physicians have achieved this distinction. "My goal is to provide the highest quality fertility care in an environment full of compassion and support." -Sam Najmabadi, M.D.

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