Coronavirus 2019-nCoV COVID-19 and Pregnancy

What is COVID? | Symptoms | COVID & Pregnancy | Facts & Myths | 

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How likely are you now to get pregnant with COVID-19 around us?

For up-to-date accurate medical information on COVID-19, fertility, and pregnancy, go to:

From Johns Hopkins: The most reliable updated count of cases

What is COVID-19 (2019-Novel Coronavirus)?

This most recent coronavirus outbreak was reported on January 9, 2020, by the World Health Organization and identified by Chinese authorities. The virus is associated with an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially named it a pandemic. The flu virus is similar but different. Find out why Coronavirus is not new but this strain is.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Information on the COVID-19 is evolving rapidly. The main symptoms experienced by most people infected with the virus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. However, some people have reported headaches, body aches, exhaustion, and more. Here is a list of full symptoms and information on how the disease is transmitted.

The New Model of Prenatal Care in the Age of COVID-19

Here is what we know so far about Coronavirus (mid-January 2020):

  • Worldwide there are bearly 100 million cases and over 2 million deaths from the coronavirus COVID-19. 
  • In the U.S. there are nearly 25 million cases and over 400,000 deaths
  • The mortality rate is reported to be between 2-4% in those who become sick, but the general mortality rate is likely below 1% overall in all those who become infected, not just those who become severely ill.

Pregnancy & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In general, pregnant women can be more susceptible to infections, since pregnancy is a time of low immune function

Based on what we know on 12/31/2020, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and death, compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks).

Here are regulartly updated FAQs about COVID-19 from the American College of ObGyn.

 More information about COVID-19 and pregnancy:

Data are still in flux and may change daily. From what we know as of March 18, pregnant women are not at increased risks of becoming infected with the coronavirus nor do they have more severe symptoms if they become infected.

Can the virus be transmitted in the uterus to the fetus?

It is believed that the virus could be transmitted to the fetus before birth, but we don't know for sure yet.  In a research letter published in JAMA on March 26, 2020, the authors suggested that the SARS-COV-2 virus could be transmitted before birth, in the uterus from the mother to the fetus. In an accompanying editorial, the authors said that while it is possible that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted in utero it is also possible that these results are erroneous, and more definitive evidence is needed before the provocative findings they report can be used to counsel pregnant women that their fetuses are at risk from congenital infection with SARS-CoV-2.

From the few cases that have been reported, it appears newborn babies are not at high risk of becoming infected, but the cases are truly too few to come to any conclusions. There is still insufficient information regarding pregnancy outcomes and Coronavirus so far. If you’re pregnant, you naturally have many questions about how to stay safe and keep your baby protected.

Here are the answers to the most common questions surrounding pregnancy and the Coronavirus.

Male Fertility and Covid-19

The first study to show that COVID-19 infection could potentially affect male fertility was published in November 2020 in the Journal "The World Journal of Men's Health". The study confirmed that the COVID-19 virus was present in the testes of 3/6 patient who dies of coronavirus infection. The authors conclude that "..COVID-19 is prevalent in testes tissue of infected patients.." And they suggest that ".. the male reproductive tract, specifically the testes, may be targets of COVID-19 infection.." This, according to the study suggests a possible mechanism of how COVID-19 can cause infertility in men.  Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

The flu during pregnancy

Pregnant women should also be concerned about getting the flu and getting vaccinated against the flu to protect themselves. Pregnant women are many times more likely to have severe flu symptoms, to be admitted to the hospital, and die than non-pregnant women. Every pregnant woman should get the flu vaccine.

Dispel the Coronavirus myths

Every hour, information on the Coronavirus outbreak changes and everyone seems to have an opinion on what is the best course of action to take to protect yourself, your family, and your community. There are countless “experts” offering their opinions, which are simply not rooted in medical facts and there are also countless people offering completely inaccurate information on social media. In Coronavirus: Separating Fact From Fiction, we break down the medical facts and dispel the inaccurate rumors circulating, such as how long the virus stays on surfaces, whether you get the virus twice, if food delivery safe, and more. 

Thriving during pregnancy amid the coronavirus threat  

With entertainment arenas closed, sports canceled, and Broadway and other shows shut down, the options for entertainment have greatly diminished. Luckily, there have been many creative minds that have prepared for ways to stay entertained and healthy at home during the outbreak. Here are some great things you can do from home, including exercise, culture, and entertainment.

Documented cases on pregnancy and the coronavirus

On 2/12/2020 The Lancet reported on 9 cases of COVID-19 in the third trimester for pregnant women. All were delivered by cesarean section. Symptoms of COVID-19 infections in pregnant women were similar to non-pregnant individuals. There was no evidence for intrauterine infection in these 9 cases caused by transmission from the women to the baby. Also, there is no evidence that a cesarean delivery is needed to protect the mother or the fetus.

On 2/3/2020 it was reported that a pregnant woman with Coronavirus infection was delivered by cesarean section in China at 37 weeks. Both mother and baby are doing well.

As of the end of January, most information we have on pregnancy and coronavirus derives from information on MERS and SARS coronaviruses.

One was a report of 5 pregnant women from Saudi Arabia which concluded that MERS-CoV may pose serious health risks to both mothers and infants during pregnancy. Two of the 5 mothers infected with the virus died.

Pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) appear to have a worse clinical outcome and a higher mortality rate compared to non-pregnant women. 

Though there were a limited number of pregnant women among these cases, it seems pregnant women are more likely to become infected and those who became infected with SARS were more likely to get sick. 


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