Our Coronavirus Resource Center is available for anyone who has questions about how efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 are impacting the pursuit of parenthood. It is constantly being updated with answers to your questions, links to resources, and the latest guidance from global experts.
Getting ready to start fertility treatment isn’t something that happens overnight. For most, it takes months or even years of planning — deciding on timing, assessing finances, studying options, and more. Which is one of the many reasons why the current uncertainty around fertility care and the coronavirus (COVID-19) is particularly difficult for many individuals and couples who were planning to start their fertility journeys in the coming weeks and months. However, even in unprecedented and unpredictable times like this, there are ways to continue working on your pursuit of parenthood.
Schedule a telehealth visit with a clinic or agency
If you’re just getting started on your pursuit of parenthood, now is a great time to start talking to clinics and adoption agencies to identify which may be the right partner for your journey. And many of these organizations now offer initial consultations over the internet. Take this time to ask questions about what services the clinic or agency offers, understand their staffing models, and how they’ll communicate with you over the coming weeks and months.
For those considering fertility treatment, we pulled together a list of our partner clinics offering telehealth visits. We’ll continue updating this resource as we learn more.
Build your support network
Going through fertility treatment, adoption, or a gestational carrier experience can feel isolating and stressful. That’s why it’s critical to have support through it. And that’s especially true during times of uncertainty. For those going through the process, a partner, sibling, or parent may be a good start, but it’s also wise to build up your support network outside of your immediate family — after all, since fertility care can put stress on relationships, you’ll likely find it helpful to talk to others who have experienced the same thing. And for those going through the process solo, having a strong network can give you another resource aside from your clinic or agency for support.
Often, your fertility clinic or adoption provider are great starting points for building a network. They may be able to direct you to online support groups of others going through the same process. You can also find groups on your own through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Friends and family can also be a great resource — if someone has shared their family-forming experience with you previously, see if they can recommend any resources for connecting with others who understand your experience. Finally, Resolve.org connects people with support networks around the world.
Check in on your financial health
While many employers are starting to offer fertility benefits, the costs associated with pursuing parenthood can still add up quite quickly. Many large financial organizations like T.D. Ameritrade and Edward Jones are offering webinars and virtual one-on-one sessions to get a better understanding of how personal finances may be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you already have a financial advisor, check in with them to see if they can discuss your family-forming goals and how to plan financially via phone or video conference.
Focus on healthy habits
Since diet and exercise habits can impact the success rates of fertility treatments, many people try to get into healthier habits before getting started with fertility care. If you haven’t done so yet, now can be a great time to examine your habits, get into healthier routines, boost your daily intake of nutrient-dense superfoods, and talk to your physician about supplements that may be added to your daily routine to promote good health (and potentially benefit fertility, as well).
Similarly, a regular exercise routine can help reduce health risks that can have a negative impact on fertility. A number of organizations, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) the Fertility Society of Australia, recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week for those planning to get pregnant. Some options include brisk walking, swimming, or dancing.
While it’s completely normal to feel frustrated with delays in treatment and unclear timelines, we hope these steps can help you focus on the journey ahead. We’ll continue updating our Coronavirus and Fertility Resource Center to keep you informed of any changes. And, as always, our Carrot Care Team is here to help — if you have any questions, reach out anytime.