Women urged to delay fertility treatments during coronavirus pandemic worry they may miss their chance to have a child

Fertility treatments on hold over coronavirus concerns

Last Updated Apr 8, 2020 7:43 PM EDT

New guidelines are urging some women undergoing fertility treatments to wait due to concerns about the possible risks of exposure to coronavirus. Many hopeful moms are now worried the delay could cost them their chance to have a child. 

Adrianna Keizer-D'Anna and her husband have long hoped for a sibling for their daughter. But after six miscarriages and eight years of fertility treatments, she now has to wait to transfer her final two embryos — a procedure that had been planned for this week. 

"I'm numb at this point," Keizer-D'Anna told CBS News. "It's the norm with IVF that there's ups and downs, but you never get used to the phone call that says you can't move further, you can't move on."

At age 44, she says time is everything. "I'm very nervous because what if this takes another year?" she said.

New guidelines by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine advise fertility patients to suspend new treatments, like in vitro fertilization and egg freezing, and consider canceling all embryo transfers. There are exceptions for urgent cases, like cancer patients.

"I don't know what that time frame is going to look like in terms of when we can reinitiate care," said Dr. Serene Srouji, medical director at The Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Srouji said one concern is the absence of data on how a fetus conceived by a mother with COVID-19 may be affected.

"Infertility in general is hard and feeling out of control is hard," Srouji said. "It doesn't make it any easier as we're delaying things."

Keizer-D'Anna says her husband just lost his job and, after spending $80,000 trying to have a second child, the couple is in debt.

"I'm hoping for a miracle because I don't know if I can handle another failure," she said.