By Dr. Carol Redmond
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Our normal work and personal routines have all been altered. The need for us to practice physical distancing and self-isolation has limited our personal contact with many of the people we would normally see throughout the week.
For many of us, we are now working from home and some of us have been asked not to work at all. Stress and anxiety levels are at an all-time high and it’s completely understandable.
For those of you who have been trying to conceive, this has represented just one more roadblock in your attempts to make your dreams of family come true. Some of you reading this may have been weeks, or perhaps days, away from an embryo transfer or egg retrieval. You could almost see the finish line. And then came the heartbreaking news: cancellation due to the measures put in place to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Not because of COVID-19 risks, but because no one can be sure of what the hospital resources will look like when it’s time to deliver.
We feel your heartbreak. And can only imagine your frustration and anger. It feels really unfair.
Now more than ever it is important to be kind to yourself. It may feel like your social support system has disappeared as you are no longer able to physically come together. Take advantage of social platforms (Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom are just some examples) to keep connected. Reach out to trusted friends and family to share your feelings if you can.
If you feel that you need emotional support from a professional but are not quite sure who to talk to, let us know. We can refer you to supports that work almost exclusively with people like you.
If you would like to review your family building plan or get started on creating one, let’s talk. Our team of fertility specialists are ready to meet with you. It’s not too early to start planning for when it’s safe for us all to return to the clinic. Our team can set up diagnostic testing that you may need and provide you with strategies that you can employ now to get yourself ready for your personalized treatment plan.
Taking charge of the next steps may help you better manage the uncertainties that COVID-19 brings. Focusing on your mental and physical health now may put you in a better position later when face-to-face operations resume.
My colleagues and I look forward to talking to you. We want to support you through this challenging time.
About the Author
Carol Redmond MD FRCSC
Specializing in reproductive biology, Dr. Redmond is a member and contributor to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), as well as reproductive medicine organizations in the US and Europe.