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Family planning during COVID-19

Last updated on May 6, 2020.


With the nation in the midst of a global pandemic, thinking about the effects COVID-19 could have on your plans to start a family may feel overwhelming—especially with reductions in elective medicine and questions about the long-term effects on pregnancy remaining unanswered.

We understand obstacles may feel as though they were placed in front of you, so as the pandemic progresses, we’ll provide you with the latest information on the coronavirus and family planning from trusted organizations, so you can take action whenever you’re ready.

Evidence to support you can continue family planning during this time:

  • No studies indicate the virus will impact your fertility, but research is ongoing.
  • Your risk of getting COVID-19 isn’t higher just because you’re pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that pregnant people seem to have the same risks as adults who are currently not pregnant.
  • Already trying to conceive? If you don’t have COVID-19, according to The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), there is no medical reason to change your plans.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk to date among mothers confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19. Therefore, it appears unlikely that the virus would be transmitted through breastfeeding by a mother who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. However, while breastfeeding, a mother should practice good hygiene and—if available—wear a medical mask to reduce the possibility of droplets with COVID-19 being spread to her infant.

Areas to be cautious and challenges to be aware of:

  • Unless it puts a patient at risk, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommended fertility clinics to currently postpone assisted reproductive technology procedures like in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg freezing.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also reports that mother-to-child transmission of coronavirus during pregnancy is unlikely; however, after birth, a newborn is susceptible to person-to-person spread.
  • Some pregnancy complications have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19, such as preterm delivery and low birth weight, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Whether these were related to maternal infection is still unclear.

The coronavirus will exist among us for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the answers you need to plan for the future you want. So whether you’re ready to learn more about your fertility, continue as planned, or decide to postpone kids—it’s always your choice.


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References

1. COVID-19: Questions Your Patients May Have. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. URL. Accessed May 6, 2020.

2. ASRM Issues New Guidance on Fertility Care During COVID-19 Pandemic: Calls for Suspension of Most Treatments. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. URL. Accessed May 6, 2020.

3. Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. URL. Accessed May 6, 2020.

4. Frequently Asked Questions: Breastfeeding and COVID-19 For health care workers. World Health Organization. URL. Accessed May 6, 2020.