The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many areas of our lives, from the way we work to how we socialise. For many women, however, the effects of the pandemic go much deeper, impacting sexual health and pregnancy.
Are Pregnant Women More At Risk Of COVID-19?
Dr Albert Aka, Consultant Gynaecologist here at The Gynae Centre explains: “There is not enough evidence to show that pregnant women are more likely to contract the COVID-19 virus. However, as soon as lockdown measures were announced in the UK, pregnant women were listed as being amongst the most vulnerable. This is due to existing evidence which shows that pregnant women are more likely to develop complications if they get the flu (COVID-19 and the flu share some similar symptoms).”
Can COVID-19 Pass From Pregnant Women To Their Babies?
If you are pregnant and you contract COVID-19, there is a risk that you can pass it onto your baby. However, babies have recovered from the virus in these cases.
As of yet, there is no evidence that COVID-19 causes miscarriage or developmental issues with foetuses.
Attending Antenatal Appointments And Scans During Lockdown
Early on in the pandemic, the UK advised pregnant women to keep antenatal appointments. However, there are limitations to this. Midwife appointments may take place online or via phone, women may have to attend scans alone, and some appointments may have to be cancelled or rescheduled if hospitals and clinics are too busy.
Pregnancy can be an exciting but also pressured time in a woman’s life, and with these measures in place alongside the anxiety of keeping yourself and your baby safe, it can be even more difficult. As a side note, The Gynae Centre has remained open during this time and we have introduced virtual consultations, to ensure that our patients feel safe and well-cared for. We are carrying out pregnancy scans and have introduced measures to keep the clinic a COVID-19 free space.
Are More People Getting Pregnant During Lockdown?
With more people staying at home with their partners during lockdown, it is only likely that pregnancies will have increased in number over the last few months. There may also be a number of people who are or have been unable to obtain contraceptives during this time (an estimated 15 million over a six-month lockdown period), leading to a rise in unprotected sex.
Not only that, but due to school closures and the subsequent lack of attention on sexual education and gender-based studies, there is likely to be a rise in the number of teenage pregnancies both during and post-lockdown.
Can I Get An Abortion During Lockdown?
Anticipating a rise in pregnancies, the UK Government announced a change in the law to allow abortion pills to be delivered by post for safe medical abortions at home. This service is available for women across the UK, excluding Northern Ireland, who are up to 10 weeks pregnant (after that time, a surgical abortion may be required).
This option reduces the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by allowing women to avoid public transport, contact with other people, and attending an appointment at a clinic. What’s more, terminating a pregnancy is a physically and emotionally draining process; therefore, allowing the procedure to take place in the patient’s own home can improve comfort and safety.
The Gynae Centre has recently introduced a service for patients to receive . The patient will be seen by one of our experienced and sympathetic consultants, either by video call or on the phone, for an assessment of the pregnancy and the patient’s health.
Once approved for the service, the patient will receive in-depth instructions on the process of at-home abortion, any complications and risks, and what aftercare is required. The patient will be able to contact the consultant directly in case of emergencies or aftercare.
It will take up to 48 hours for the pills to arrive; if requested, they can be collected by you or a trusted family member or friend from the clinic.
If you are seeking a medical abortion at home, it is essential that you research the process beforehand so that you are aware of the process. We have a full guide to the at-home medical abortion process here, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.
Prices for all services provided at The Gynae Centre can be found on our Fees page. If you have any questions or would like to book a consultation, please book online or call our admin team on 020 7580 8090.