By Dr. Guy Ringler. Dr. Guy Ringler wrote this blog post for California Fertility Partners and has agreed to share the information with Circle Surrogacy.
COVID-19 and Fertility
As we near the end of our second month dealing with coronavirus, I have heard many comments from friends and patients about the increased importance of family in their lives.
Certainly coronavirus and COVID-19 have created new financial considerations for many people — LGBTQ or otherwise — interested in building a family. There isn’t a corner of the world that isn’t economically impacted. Millions have lost their jobs, either temporarily or permanently, and uncertainty has taken hold.
Yet from a medical perspective, the disease doesn’t need to stop anyone’s pursuit of building a family, it only presents new challenges that everyone in every fertility clinic is working with.
To be sure, the pandemic has affected fertility treatments, with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommending the cessation of new fertility treatments in March. With some important guidelines and cautions, the ASRM has recently suggested guidelines to allow for the gradual resumption of fertility care.
We at California Fertility Partners are following those guidelines, including empty or near-empty waiting rooms, face masks in the office, taking people’s temperature, and other safety measures.
Still, some people are concerned about the medical impact of COVID-19 on fertility and pregnancy. Do the virus and the disease impact a man or woman’s fertility? Can a surrogate pass along the disease to their child?
The short answer is that we are simply not 100% sure. The coronavirus is new to the world, and not nearly enough scientific studies have been conducted to say anything about it with complete certainty.
COVID-19 and Pregnancy
However, early studies point in a positive direction. Studies in China relating directly to pregnancy show little or no increased risk. Other studies show no transmission of the disease to the babies of mothers with COVID-19 either before or at the time of birth.
Of course there are also travel challenges. As I write this in early May, the United States has a closed border, as do many other countries. Chances are that travel restrictions in some form will linger for many months. While these policies may present insurmountable hurdles in the short-term, they will subside. In the meantime, there are plenty of other ways to start or continue a family-building journey.
There is a wealth of knowledge on the Internet about starting a family. Now can be the time, from the safety of your home, to do important research ahead of taking the first steps of hiring a fertility doctor and surrogacy agency. Read the articles. Ask for free consultations with doctors and agencies that resonate with you. This is a process no one should rush into, and the pause put on all of us by the disease can be an opportunity for you.
Yes, the pandemic is changing our lives. But I really feel that it can present opportunities for some thoughtful consideration before heading down what is still currently a safe way to build your family.
GUY RINGLER is a board-certified physician in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. As a child Dr. Guy Ringler grew up in suburban Detroit, the son of a barber and a school bus driver, with his three sisters. He graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, followed by medical school in Detroit at Wayne State University, where he received the class award for highest honors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.He is a partner with California Fertility Partners. If you are interested in contacting CFP, you can call their office at 310-943-0812 or visit their website.