New Delhi: Leading gynaecologists and infertility experts across NCR-Delhi have opined that amid the coronavirus pandemic, a host of factors are at play that are advantageous to the couples eager to start a family. They said remote working is the "best time to conceive" as the couples are now getting enough of a comfortable environment to plan their future, besides facing less stress without the earlier long commuting hours and striking a balance in professional and personal lives.
Dr Akta Bajaj, Senior Consultant-Obstetrics and Gynaecology at New Delhi's Ujala Cygnus Healthcare Services, said that she has been witnessing a surge in pregnant patients in the last couple of months in her hospital OPDs. The doctor said that these patients were mostly those who faced problems earlier in conceiving because of immense stress.
"Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, mostly couples are confined to the comfort of their homes, experiencing low stress and spending more time together. They are utilising this time for family planning. In our hospital too, we have been seeing a lot of couples who earlier had trouble conceiving, but have conceived in the last three-four months," Dr Bajaj added.
Dr Manpreet Sodhi, Consultant-Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Paras Hospitals in Gurugram, explained why couples experienced infertility in the pre-COVID times. "If we see the pre-coronavirus times, the couples had no work-life balance... quality time needed to plan pregnancy was not there.
So, it was seen that most couples could not plan a baby at the right time because of the tremendous work pressure." She added: "Nowadays, they are getting time to strike a balance between work and life as they are mostly at home; so it is a good time for those who were planning a baby for a long time. They can try and conceive at this point of time," said Dr Sodhi.
Apart from remote working, without the stress of daily commuting, the couples are more relaxed than normal times. Remote working also gives a chance to exercise together -- it has been seen that having a 'buddy' motivates people better to take up an exercise as a routine.
This model is also very helpful for stress-relieving activities like yoga and meditation. This, in turn, is good for the health of both the partners. It is important to limit work hours from spilling over and affect non-working hours.
New couples can use that time to know each other better - getting at ease with each other is very important for the parents-to-be, said Dr Amita Shah, Senior Consultant and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Columbia Asia Hospital in Palam Vihar.
Dr Sandeep Chadha, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida, felt that this is the ideal time for those wishing to conceive because air quality is at its best. Since there is hardly any pollutant in the air, it is safe for both the mother and her child, he pointed out.
"Women are in a more comfortable environment as they are working from home. When a woman is expecting and gets such a comfortable environment, it is good for her health. Sometimes facing the computer screen for a long time makes them nauseated. They are more relaxed at home and can eat small meals in between. Even other family members are there to take care of her. There is nothing to be frightened about if you are expecting during the pandemic times because coronavirus does not get transmitted to the baby easily. Pregnant women just need to adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines because their immunity levels are low," said Dr Chadha.
Dr Parul Katiyar, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF, New Delhi, pointed out that since people are eating nutritious diets and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to keep the COVID-19 infection at bay, they are conceiving naturally.
"Staying at home has reduced the intake of junk food and increased intake of quality and home-cooked food and diet, which plays a vital role in fertility. Since most couples are staying and working together, they manage to have a better bonding, which is good not just for interpersonal relationships but also makes it easier for the man to take good care of his wife if she conceives."
She added: "Mostly, women are concerned about rest and undergoing regular check-ups in case they conceive. They often tend to think that they will not be able to take adequate rest because of the usual hectic lifestyle. Since they are working from home, these factors are eliminated because of the flexible duty hours while working from home," said Dr Katiyar.
Dr Gauri Agarwal, IVF and Infertility Specialist, and founder of Seeds of Innocence and Genestrings Lab, said she is recommending to married couples to conceive at this point in time because everybody is at home, and the harmony between the couples is much better than before. Even the IVF centres have subsidised their rates because of the prevalent economic slowdown.
"Because of the low economy, the IVF centres are quoting lesser rates for tests to help interested couples. And it's a great time to enjoy pregnancy also, as the couples can spend most of their time together and stay calm. Speaking of the stress among the couples from the working class, due to various reasons like salary reductions, increased workload, and sitting at home, it is still better than before. We think the equation between the couples is better, as told by most of those who came for tests," Dr Agarwal added.