CHICAGO (CBS) — COVID-19 isn’t just affecting day-to-day routines.
For infertility patients, the virus is putting their dreams of having a family on hold.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey is digging into the emotional and financial impact the pandemic is having on patients.
Deirdre Bongiorno’s future is sitting, waiting in liquid nitrogen tank.
“We were able to get two frozen embryos,” Bongiorno said.
She said she’s spent three years trying to get pregnant, battling endometriosis and going through difficult and expensive infertility treatments. After a procedure in January, she had two embryos ready for IVF, or in-vitro fertilization.
She’s been prepping with shots and medications. But this week, she got the news that those plans are on hold.
“You want to be a parent. None of this stuff that we’re going through is because we want to do it,” Bongiorno said.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued guidelines calling on all infertility clinics across the country to suspend their procedures and limit in-person interactions with patients.
“It is heartbreaking for us physicians,” said Doctor Eve Feinberg, President of the Society For Reproductive Endocrinology And Infertility.
Feinberg is a member of the COVID-19 task force that issued the recommendations, which still allow for some procedures in the case of patients with cancer or other urgent circumstances.
“Nobody wants to stop fertility care. We were very carefully in the wording of the document not to call it elective,” Feinberg said.
The current suspension runs through March 30.
Bongiorno is trying to stay positive because she knows she’s not alone in her disappointment.
“Who could ever possibly plan for this,” she asked. “It could be $20,000 for one IVF cycle. For women and families that are going through it, to start the treatment and the shots and all that for that to all the sudden be on hold, it’s really really rough.”
Feinberg said the COVID-19 task force will meet again on March 25 to decide whether they’ll extend the hiatus or if patients will be allowed to resume their infertility treatments.