Waiting even longer for pregnancy: “Every month lost there is one too many” | Right away
Fertility treatments, which were often lived for months, were abruptly discontinued due to the corona measures. This leads to disappointment, frustration and patience for women who need these treatments to have a child.
Reproductive care in times of crisis is not covered by acute care. So, in mid-March 2020, a determined line was introduced from all ongoing fertility treatments, with no prospect of how long this will take.
“Everyone understands why treatments are postponed when a ward on the street people die from the coronavirus. Nevertheless, it is sour that the fulfillment of the desire to have children is seen as unnecessary care. Children are often the most important thing in life,” says Marjolein Grömminger of Freya, an association for people with fertility problems.
“To give rest to my body, I wait for the miscarriage to begin naturally. Then I have to send an email, I don’t know anything else.”
In the next few weeks, it will be a matter of waiting for these patients again: this time until they receive a call with the message that they are welcome back to the clinic. For Denise (35, the editor known for her last name) this is particularly difficult: she waits for her false start before she can move her last frozen embryo further.
“We were lucky that the return could take place before the whole Corona crisis. In the weeks that followed, I felt it wasn’t right. My heart was beating, but I was tense. I had to go alone to the last ultrasound, and then I saw that the heart was no longer right.”
Totally dependent on treatments
The feeling that something was wrong and couldn’t go right for the ultrasound was hard for Denise, she says. She has already had a number of miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies that prevent pregnant women from getting pregnant on the natural road.
“You are impatient, you do not want to respond to this disappointment of another miscarriage, but you want to move immediately to hope. You can’t do that at the moment. To give rest to my body, I wait for the miscarriage to begin naturally. Then I have to send an email, I don’t know anything else. You’d think it would be nice to get rid of treatments and hormones, but I want to do that. I don’t get pregnant naturally and I’m totally dependent on these treatments.’
‘I really can’t make anything good out of it. People are stressed, they want to carry on, and so are we. Nobody wanted that.”
Annemiek Nap, gynaecologist and reproductive physician
That life is not usable and that you have no control over what will happen in the future: these are life lessons that we can learn from the Corona crisis, says Sophie (31, last name, known to the editor). But as a woman with fertility problems, it’s lessons you’ve been able to deal with for a long time.
‘I’m panicking friends around me because they’ve lost control because of the corona rye. It’s not a problem with me at all. I have no influence on my childhood desire and my life has been dedicated to these treatments for years. I swallow and spray hormones, don’t drink coffee or alcohol, and I’m at the mercy of fertility treatments.”
Time is precious
Sophie has been working for three years and has recently started an IVF trial. “After all these trials of medication and artificial insemination, I was so happy that we were allowed to start IVF. We can make three attempts. The first one couldn’t go on because I had too many eggs. So we went back into the whole pre-process with all these hormones and then: Corona. It’s terribly frustrating.’
“I feel powerless: we need this way to have children. Every month we lose, one is too much.”
“Time is so precious. If I want to take a break, it’s to finally go back on holiday or do something really fat. Not this. I feel powerless: we need this way to have children. Every month we lose, one is too much.”
The delay in treatments does not last forever. The fact that fertility treatments are being started step by step in all hospitals is a positive development, says Annemiek Nap, gynaecologist and chairwoman of the Dutch Association for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG).
“We hope that we will be able to further increase the number of treatments if the number of hospital admissions continues to decrease due to the corona.”