During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people have questions about whether or not they should get pregnant. Presently, there’s limited evidence available regarding mother-to- fetus transmission, transmission during delivery, and transmission during breastfeeding. We are learning more daily about if and how mothers with COVID-19 pass the virus to their children in the womb and/ or through breastmilk. It is currently thought that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 causes birth defects. There is some evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get the coronavirus.
At the current time, contraceptive care is considered by many providers to be a medical necessity. For people that would like to prevent pregnancy, contact your health care provider to make a plan for getting what you need. If you are unsure of your contraceptive options, Bedsider’s website provides information on the range of contraceptives available. While many clinics are turning to telehealth options, they are prioritizing contraceptive services. If your clinic is unable to help you, continue to reach out to other practices or providers in your community.
For those that would like to try to become pregnant, contact your provider for removal of any long acting reversible contraceptives (also known as LARCs), including IUDs or Nexplanon. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has issued recommendations on fertility treatment during the pandemic that include suspending new treatment cycles. Reach out to your provider to learn about your clinic’s plan related to fertility treatments.
Preconception Health Matters
Because new information is continually becoming available and sample sizes are currently small for studies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not able to provide recommendations related to delaying pregnancy. The CDC does continue to emphasize the importance of several actions that people can take before they get pregnant to improve their health and the health of their future baby. Many of these steps should be done by all birthing partners to contribute to a healthy pregnancy for both parent and infant. For further detail for your own circumstances, many providers are able to offer telemedicine visits during the pandemic.
- Take a multivitamin with 400mcg of folic acid every day
- Speak with your healthcare provider about substance use
- Stop smoking cigarettes, vaping and use of nicotine products. Need help? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW
- Reduce alcoholic beverage consumption, including beer, wine, liquor
- Call your provider and learn how you can be tested if you think you might have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- Speak with your provider to talk about any possible chronic conditions and getting pregnant. It is important that your conditions are well controlled
- Ask your provider about your current medications about whether it is safe to take during pregnancy. Do not stop taking a medicine without talking to a provider
- Your mental health matters. If you are struggling now with high anxiety, depression, and/or other conditions, seek help. There are new options for getting support through telehealth. This is a stressful time for many people, and it can be especially hard for people who already struggle with anxiety and depression
- Talk with your partner. Healthy relationships are important when forming a family. If you don’t feel safe in your relationship, especially during this time of spending long periods of time together, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has many resources that you may find helpful. The hotline phone number is 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). If you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto the National Domestic Violence Hotline website or text LOVEIS to 22522
This is a stressful time. It can be extra hard to change behaviors that help you cope. Relationships with partners can become strained and, in some cases, unsafe. Access to early prenatal care is important and should be accessible during this time. However, public health experts are recommending avoiding unnecessary medical visits. Therefore, some people may want to delay conceiving until the risk of exposure when attending visits is lower. Trying to conceive may also give you hope and excitement for the future. Everyone’s decision is unique to them and it is helpful to check in frequently during the process of becoming pregnant to make sure everyone is on the same page and that changing considerations can be incorporated.
- Click here for preconception health information from the CDC.
- Click here for preconception health information from the CDC for men.
- Click here for coronavirus information from the CDC.
- Click here for coronavirus information from the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Click here to use the HRSA clinic locator tool to find a health clinic near you.
- Click here to find an OPA family planning clinic near you.