As if infertility wasn’t *already* one giant waiting game riddled with frustration, anxiety and fear…then the Coronavrius had to come along and take us to a whole other level.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has recommended (as of 3/17/20) that all fertility clinics in the US suspend new treatment cycles, including IUI, IVF and “non-urgent” egg and sperm freezing. The ASRM also advises that fertility clinics suspend elective surgeries and non-urgent diagnostic procedures, as well as minimizing in-person interactions and increase utilization of telehealth. You can read the full statement here.
Long story short, this means thousands of infertility patients across the country are now being asked to do the one thing they’ve BEEN doing and HATE doing…wait.
If your IUI or IVF cycle was cancelled we have a few things to say to you…
- THAT SUCKS. I’m so sorry this is happening right now. Of all the times this could be happening, it’s really unfair that it’s happening as you’re trying to build your family.
- Stay up to date. Keep one eye on the CDC or the WHO website to make sure you have the most recent information about COVID-19. Be aware of your community. Are there cases in your area or are people or areas near you under quarantine? Understand what the symptoms are, and call your healthcare provider if you have a fever, cough and shortness of breath (healthcare facilities are requesting that you call if you suspect you may have COVID-19 in order to be prepared to receive you).
- Try meditating. Now might be a good time to try meditation (FOR REAL, THOUGH) either via some live streaming offerings or via an app like Calm or Headspace. Our partners at Circle+Bloom also offers some A+ infertility-specific meditations.
- Keep moving. Whether it’s via your Peloton or an app like Down Dog Yoga or just some IG or YouTube workout videos…find ways to set aside time to keep your blood flowing. Remember it also doesn’t have to be a rigorous workout to be helpful; even a walk can help reduce stress.
- Set up a phone session with a therapist who gets infertility. There are LOTS of therapists and mental health experts out there who know what to say and how to support you. Just make sure you are searching for a therapist who specializes in either infertility, loss, grief or child loss. We recommend Partners (in) Fertility who can help Minnesota patients.
- Do whatever you can to relax…for real. Like they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Your physical health and mental health are incredibly important right now. If this means indulging in some fun, wholesome screen-free activities like sudoku, drawing, knitting, dance parties or baking? Then good for you! If this means eating too much ice cream and binging Below Deck? Then good for you! We all gotta do what we gotta do right now.
- If you can…try to laugh. Luckily we have awesome people in our community like Karen Jeffries of “Hilariously Infertile” who are helping us find a bit of humor right now….because stuff is….not feeling very funny these days so it can be important to have a spot of levity…
But truly…we are so sorry this is happening, especially if your infertility treatments are being put on-hold. The future is very unknown right now and you’re dealing with stress from all different angles. Please know our community is here for you and is thinking of you as we all navigate this new world.