By March this year, it seemed like the entire world suddenly stopped. People across the world were rushed inside to spend the perceivable short term future with their roommates, families, or even themselves. But what of the people still trying to add to those families? For a while, it was unclear whether or not infertility treatments counted as “essential.” In early April, the Department of Health officially listed infertility treatment among essential reproductive health services, but even with this official stamp of importance, many infertility patients were still left unsure of how to proceed. With the whole world’s usual schedule thrown wildly off course, what does the infertility journey look like? Here are some simple but important things you can do to make infertility during covid-19 manageable:
Going to the grocery store has gone from being an expected part of life to being a nightmare. That’s why it’s a good idea to do one big grocery trip, prepare food in bulk, and keep yourself eating right. While there’s no magical food to help infertility, there are some foods that can certainly help. Very Well Family lists the following foods as beneficial:
Plan out at least three recipes, buy the ingredients, and cook enough food to be able to rotate for a week or so without having to either leave the house or order takeout. Stumped for ideas of what to do with these ingredients? Try one of these ideas.
Where to find the recipe: Good Food
Fertility food to include: Sunflower feeds, cooked tomatoes, mature cheese, full-fat dairy, citrus
Where to find the recipe: Food Network
Fertility food to include: Oysters, citrus fruits
Where to find the recipe: Food52
Fertility foods to include: Liver, asparagus, mature cheese
Where to find the recipe: Feasting at Home
Fertility foods to include: Wild-caught salmon, pomegranate, citrus fruit
Making sure you keep a healthy schedule is as important as ever, whether that be eating right, getting fresh air and exercise daily (while social distancing), or doing yoga and meditation. But a healthy sleep schedule is especially important when it comes to dealing with infertility. Sleep plays a vital role in hormonal regulation, which is in turns a vital part of conception and fertility. The relationship between fertility and sleep is currently scientifically inconclusive, but the adverse effects of insufficient or irregular sleep are well documented. While as always this tip is by no means a cure-all, getting your circadian rhythms in order is always beneficial to your overall health.
One of the trickiest things to navigate when it comes to infertility is whether or not IVF treatment is covered by your health insurance. This tends to differ by state. The majority of Americans get their health care via their employer, and in a time where economic stability is so constantly up in the air, seeking employment with a company that offers IVF treatment is prudent, if potentially difficult. RMA offers Employers List Forms of companies that cover IVF, and sites like Monster offer similar lists of resources. Finding a new job is not necessarily the right move for a lot of people at the moment, but is something to look into as soon as it becomes reasonable for you to do so.
Remember that social distancing does not by any means mean cutting yourself off from society. Perhaps the worst part of the infertility journey during covid-19 is the feeling of suddenly being cut off from the rest of humanity. Here are some resources to keep you connected with a supportive community of people going through the same difficulties you are.
Just remember: you aren’t alone, this isn’t the end of the world, and your journey does not need to be put on hold.