During this time of 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, www.bedsider.org 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, including IUDs or Nexplanon. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has issued recommendations on fertility treatment during the pandemic that includes the suspension of new treatment cycles. Reach out to your provider to learn about your clinic’s plan related to fertility treatments.
Preconception Health Matters
As new information is continually becoming available and the sample sizes are small, 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. Both partners need to take steps to have a healthy baby. Many providers are able to offer telemedicine visits which may be a way to discuss your preconception questions in further detail.
- Take a multivitamin with 400mcg of folic acid every day.
- Stop smoking cigarettes, vaping and use of nicotine products. Need help? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- Marijuana use is not recommended. Other substances and drugs are also not recommended.
- Stop drinking alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, liquor.
- Call your provider and learn how you can be tested if you think you might have a sexually transmitted infection.
- If you have a chronic condition, please call your health care provider to talk with them about getting pregnant. It is important that your conditions are well controlled and that you and your provider are working together to help you be healthy.
- If you are taking medicine, call your health care provider and talk about whether or not 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, get 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 thehotline.org 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.
- 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.