How Does Coronavirus Affect Fertility & Pregnancy?

January 25, 2023
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Pregnancy is a very delicate phase for any woman. She is prone to infections as her immunity is very low at this stage. During pregnancy, not all treatments or medications are safe for the pregnancy itself or the growing foetus.

Coronavirus caught the entire world off-guard. No one knew how to handle it and how it can impact the general population. Today, after fighting the virus for years, we have some information to understand how it affects pregnancy and pregnant women in general. Let’s take a closer look to understand the various ways this virus can impact pregnancies

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Pregnancy & Covid

First, let’s look at the impact of Covid 19 in pregnancy. If a pregnant woman were to contract the covid 19 virus, it can become quite complicated. Due to her low immunity, her body can’t effectively fight the virus. This also makes it easier for the virus to proceed attacking the body and the organs.

Some of the possible risks for a pregnant woman if she contracts the Covid19 virus are:

  • Preterm delivery – delivery before 37 weeks
  • Stillborn child
  • Restriction in fetal growth
  • Admission to the ICU for medical support and close monitoring
  • Death
  • Transferring the virus to the foetus
  • Increases risk of other health issues due to the virus’s impact on the organs
  • Increase in stress and anxiety

Covid & Pregnancy Second Trimester

There is not enough data to conclude anything about the impact of Covid19 in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Generally, if a pregnant woman were to contract any virus or infection during her first trimester, the impact can be heavy on the child. This is because the foetus is just forming and severe infection is bound to have a lasting impact on the foetus. Some infections can lead to lifelong implications which surface only as the child grows up.

Similarly, infections during the third trimester can also have a severe impact on the pregnancy itself and the unborn child. It can lead to stillbirth or premature birth, which in turn increases the baby’s risk of contracting infections.

With the limited data and knowledge, for now, researchers believe, if a baby is born with Covid19 virus or is born with a visible impact of the virus, it could be due to exposure to the virus in the third trimester. However, one cannot conclude much without sufficient data or an in-depth analysis.

Covid Vaccine & Pregnancy Planning

The CDC and WHO approved the administration of Covid19 vaccines for anyone above the age of 6 years. Hence, a pregnant woman can get the vaccination without worrying about the side effects on the baby.

The mother and baby will be safer if the expecting mother is vaccinated. The Covid19 vaccine will help her body fight the virus despite the low immunity due to pregnancy. The medication will reach the baby too, through the mother’s body, thus giving the baby a immunity from Covid19, right from birth.

For couples planning to get pregnant or for those who are already trying, taking the Covid 19 vaccine will not have any impact on you or your fertility. It will not affect your plans to start a family.

Since the vaccines are in use only for the last 2 years, it is still too early to conclude the impact of the vaccine on the unborn child. Research and understanding of the medicine’s impact reassure people across the world that contracting the virus during pregnancy is far worse than any possible side effects the vaccination can have. As of now, there are no reports of any side effects or impact of the Covid19 vaccine on the unborn child or pregnancy.

How to Avoid Coronavirus During Pregnancy?

Avoiding Coronavirus completely is not in anyone’s control. However, the following tips can drastically reduce the chances of an infection during pregnancy:

1. Stay Safe

Everyone knows that coronavirus affects a body’s immunity and organs to a great extent. A pregnant woman’s immunity is already low and her organs are working extra to support the foetus. Therefore, the best course of action is to stay safe and not contract the infection in the first place.

Follow advice and protocols set by the WHO and other medical bodies, to stay safe through pregnancy. Even after the birth of your child, you need to stay cautious, as both your immunities will be low

2. Get Checked

If you have any symptoms, do not treat them lightly or ignore them as just a common cold or flu. When you are pregnant, you cannot let any infection get very severe and the doctors can’t prescribe all medicines. So, when you have any symptoms, get yourself thoroughly checked to rule out a Covid19 infection.

3. Get Vaccinated

If you are yet to get your vaccine and are planning to start a family, it is advisable to get your vaccination first. Though the vaccine is deemed safe during pregnancy if you are planning to start trying, ensure you are vaccinated first. This will further reduce the risks of contracting the virus during your pregnancy. It will protect the unborn baby too.

Must Read : Covid-19 Vaccination For Lactating Moms

Importance of Covid 19 Vaccine During Pregnancy

Reports show that pregnant women or women who were recently pregnant are more prone to contracting the Covid19 virus due to their weakened immunity. The impact of contracting the virus can extend to the baby, who cannot be treated or vaccinated for the same

Reports also say, if the expecting mother is vaccinated, the protection can extend to the baby and protect the baby from going into the NICU or being severely affected by the virus until they are 6 months old. Their natural immunity start building and kicking in by this time.

Contracting the virus also increases the risk of preterm or stillbirths. Hence, getting the vaccine – both dosages as recommended by WHO, is advisable for pregnant women if they want to ensure both they and the baby are safe from the virus.