Women's Health

Infertility and COVID-19: A Letter to Those Who Have to Wait Longer

Published: April 19, 2019

We, too, share your grief.

Just when you thought this time might be your time, you’re asked to wait. Again.

Egg retrievals, embryo transfers, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other reproductive surgeries have been halted across the country. As a precautionary response to COVID-19, your treatment is on pause.

This waiting game. That’s exactly what it feels like – a game. And it’s one in which you’re seemingly always picked to lose. We know that like us, you feel for those experiencing illness. But we also know that you’ve been fighting a battle long before this virus hit.

We so look forward to the day we can resume your treatment, but we need you to stay strong and healthy until then. Even though we can’t be with you right now, we’re here. And we don’t want you to process this alone.

Addressing a Different Kind of Isolation

The stress and anxiety you’re feeling right now is largely exaggerated by the isolation that infertility already causes. Here’s what you can do:

Stay connected. Zoom. FaceTime. Do whatever it takes to stay in touch with your support network of friends and family. And call us! Keep in touch with the staff at Methodist Reproductive Health Specialists. We can help keep you updated on when various procedures will resume. Remember: If you have questions or concerns, we want to hear them. We want to help you through them.

Stay active – physically and mentally. Stress-relieving exercise and practices – like walking, yoga, journaling, mediation and mindfulness – can help you during this difficult time. Try to practice gratitude and experiment with an attitude shift. Consider treating this time as more time to prepare your body for the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Stay nourished (and hydrated). Research suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet may improve natural fertility and IVF outcomes. If you’re overweight, focus on losing the 10% of body weight your doctor may have recommended with diet and exercise. Continue taking a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400mcg of folic acid, and stay hydrated. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water (130 pounds means 65 ounces of water daily).

Looking Forward to the Future

These feelings that you’re feeling? You’re allowed. But you’re not alone. We stand by our mission to fight alongside you on your journey to parenthood. And when we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we’ll be ready and waiting to empower you and help you build the family you’re so desperately yearning for.

Remember: If you’re struggling with feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety or depression, call the Methodist Emotional Support Line to speak with a licensed professional counselor from the Methodist Hospital Community Counseling Program. The free, confidential service can be accessed by dialing (402) 815-8255 (TALK) and is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Counselors can help by answering questions, addressing concerns, scheduling counseling appointments for additional care and providing referrals to community resources. 

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