Coronavirus in Pregnancy
Latest update April 10th 2020
Early Pregnancy Monitoring at the Agora
- We continue to offer all our patients early pregnancy monitoring and reassurance scans
- We continue to offer all pregnant women who are not Agora fertility patients early pregnancy dating scans, reassurance scans and IONA testing at 12 weeks
- We will see all women who present with early pregnancy symptoms of bleeding or pain for ultrasound and medical assessment. We are running an emergency pregnancy service Monday to Fridays and we will accept self-referrals.
What are the risk of Coronavirus in Pregnancy?
- All pregnant women have been advised to avoid any unnecessary social contact. This has of course raised further alarm bells in our patients who are trying to conceive or already pregnant.
- So far, and this is a new disease, there does not seem to be any strong evidence that if a mother is infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy that she will develop a more severe form of the disease. Nor is there any evidence that the virus could pass from her to the developing baby in the womb (an effect called vertical transmission) if she does become infected or cause any developmental abnormalities to the baby. The virus has not been found in the fluid around the baby (amniotic fluid) or cord blood (umbilical cord passing from the baby to the placenta) or in the placenta in those mothers that became infected during pregnancy.
- There have been a couple of reports of premature delivery in mothers infected with COVID-19 but these very small numbers mean no real conclusions can yet be drawn about the risk of COVID-19 in the later stages of pregnancy.
Advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is publishing regular updates for pregnant women and medical professionals. Please follow this link:
Based on what we know about the virus so far, there does not appear to be any added risk of coronavirus to pregnant women or to their developing baby. Neither does It appear that infection increases the risk of pregnancy loss or fetal complications. This is reassuring for all those currently attempting to conceive.
The key advice for pregnant women who are working in the NHS and other work settings are:
- Women who are less than 28 weeks pregnant should practise social distancing but can continue working in a patient-facing role, provided the necessary precautions are taken
- Women who are more than 28 weeks pregnant, or have underlying health conditions, should avoid direct patient contact
Frequently Asked Questions:
Will my baby be affected if I get Coronavirus during my pregnancy?
Women trying to conceive or already pregnant have been asking about the possible effect of the Coronovirus on the developing fetus through an effect called ‘vertical transmission’. This is when the virus passes from the mother to the child and is a particular concern in the first 3 months of pregnancy where a virus could have profound effects on a baby’s development. This is something we see for example with the Zika virus transmitted by mosquitos. Coronavirus does not appear to be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. The studies published so far show no presence of the virus in the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby or the umbilical cord blood in those mothers who became infected during pregnancy. Babies may get infected but this appears to be after they have been delivered.
Could Coronavirus increase my risk of miscarriage?
These are still early days but based on what we know so far, there does not appear to be an increased risk of miscarriage. Since the virus does not seem to cross the placenta to infect the fetus, it seems unlikely that it would increase the chances of pregnancy loss.
Could Coronavirus lead to any complications in pregnancy?
There have been a few reports of premature delivery in mothers infected with COVID-19 but these very small numbers does mean no real conclusions can yet be drawn about the risk of COVID-19 in the later stages of pregnancy.
Am I more prone to getting Coronavirus if I am pregnant and could I be more severely affected?
Pregnant women do not appear to be more prone to getting COVID-19 than the general population unless they have underlying medical health conditions.
Is there any risk with breast feeding?
No the Coronavirus does not appear to be transmitted in breast milk.
We are known for our excellent patient support and know that right now this is more important than ever. We have adapted many of our patient support options to the ‘virtual’ social distancing measures imposed upon us.
We are offering virtual Patient Support sessions, counselling through Skype as well as weekly Q & A with myself through our closed Facebook Group, Agora Friends.
- If you are already a patient, we continue to respond to your questions through our various channels, including the Salve App and Agora Friends (please message us if you want to find out how to join our closed Facebook group Agora Friends).
- Our Counsellors Malcolm and Heather are available for counselling support through telephone or skype.
- We are offering regular ‘Virtual Patient Support’ sessions (please email mmgu@agoraclinic to book in)