Turkey, Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkey: IVF treatments paused amid coronavirus

Health official says there is limited information on how virus affects pregnant women, babies

Ali Murat Alhas   | 26.03.2020
Turkey: IVF treatments paused amid coronavirus


As medical authorities worldwide discuss the effects of coronavirus on pregnant women and babies in the mother’s womb, Turkey has suspended in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments for an indefinite period.

Ahmet Zeki Isik, head of Reproductive Health and IVF Association, said the Health Ministry issued an official notification on Thursday.

Isik said there were some pregnant women diagnosed with coronavirus. One of them successfully gave birth despite receiving medical care in an intensive care unit due to pneumonia.

“We have limited information in this regard, only two babies [worldwide] were diagnosed with the virus and there is not any conclusive evidence suggesting babies in the womb are infected,” he said.

He further noted that the immune system of pregnant women declines to some extent and women suffering from SARS and MERS diseases experienced a relatively more difficult pregnancy.

IVF treatments help couples dealing with infertility conceive a baby.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows more than 472,700 cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll above 21,300 and over 115,000 successful recoveries.

* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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