Fertility treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review

Polychronis P. Voultsos, Anna-Maria I. Taniskidou


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenges in fertility preservation practices and has led to ethical issues, especially in developing countries. This paper provides a systematic review on this topic. At the beginning of the pandemic, several countries issued directions to suspend fertility treatments except among cancer patients. However, fertility preservation practices resumed gradually. The pandemic has evoked three major issues. First, many voices call for treating infertility as an essential medical condition in individual cases. There is no or negligible risk of transmission of COVID-19 through fertility treatment procedures or pregnancy. Second, there are weaknesses in health systems, especially in African countries. Third, there is enhanced discrimination and, in particular, a need to seriously consider inequality and social stratification in Africa. Oncofertility practices may be unevenly provided. The use of telemedicine to reduce nonessential contacts and the role of the Oncofertility Consortium in developing countries are highlighted. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[5]: 161-178).

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