Infertility Journey During Covid-19

Taking care of yourself and your health while in quarantine

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:

  • Eating right
  • Sleeping right
  • Getting coverage
  • Getting su (pport

Eating Right

A healthy diet is always important, but how can you keep the right diet without leaving the house too often?

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:

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Citrus Fruits (warning: if you are on medication, consult a doctor before consuming grapefruit)
  • Mature Cheeses
  • Full-Fat Dairy
  • Liver
  • Cooked Tomatoes
  • Beans and Lentils
  • Asparagus
  • Oysters
  • Pomegranate
  • Walnuts
  • Egg Yolks
  • Pineapple
  • Wild-Caught Salmon
  • Cinnamon

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.

Three Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seed Puree and Whipped Feta

Three Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seed Puree and Whipped Feta
It’s colorful, it’s tasty, and it’s jam-packed with nutrients. Photo by Katrina Meynink.

Where to find the recipe: Good Food

Fertility food to include: Sunflower feeds, cooked tomatoes, mature cheese, full-fat dairy, citrus

Oysters with 3 Citrus

Oysters with 3 Citrus
Who knew something so simple could look so fancy?

Where to find the recipe: Food Network

Fertility food to include: Oysters, citrus fruits

Spaghetti with Chicken Livers and Asparagus

Spaghetti with Chicken Livers and Asparagus
This recipe embodies the feeling of home-cooked feel-good foods

Where to find the recipe: Food52

Fertility foods to include: Liver, asparagus, mature cheese

Roasted Pomegranate Salmon

Roasted Pomegranate Salmon
A perfect example of how a simple combination can have you feeling like a culinary master.

Where to find the recipe: Feasting at Home

Fertility foods to include: Wild-caught salmon, pomegranate, citrus fruit

Sleeping Right

Getting your snooze on might be more important for your infertility journey than you realize.

Woman in grey bed sleeping
Getting the proper amount of sleep at the right times is more important during covid-19 than ever before. Image courtesy of Gregory Pappas.

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.

Getting Coverage

Finding the job that will give you the healthcare you need is difficult, but not impossible.

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.

Getting Support

Quarantine doesn’t have to mean you’re alone.

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.

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