Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pregnancy, and Abortion

Woman Thinking About COVID-19 and Pregnancy

Updated 11/2/2020

By Kathy Wentz, RN 

COVID-19 has affected us all in one way or another.  You may have concerns about it, especially if you are pregnant or worried you might be pregnant. As the Nurse Manager at Her Health Women’s Center, I want to be sure you have accurate information.

What is COVID-19 and how is it spread? 

COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019 and is part of a family of viruses that causes respiratory symptoms which may range from a mild cold to severe disease.  A new strain of the virus emerged for the first time in humans in Wuhan City, China in December 2019.  It has now reached worldwide proportions.  It typically spreads from person to person contact.

Am I more likely to get COVID-19 because I am pregnant?  

Studies do show that pregnant women may be more likely to be sicker with viral respiratory diseases, including Covid-19, so make sure you take action to avoid getting sick. 

What precautions should I take? 

  • Wear a mask when out and about, especially when you aren’t able to social distance.
  • Frequent Hand Washing – 20 seconds!  If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t touch your face, eyes, mouth, nose.
  • Social distancing – The best way to protect yourself is to physically distance yourself.  This doesn’t mean you have to avoid social interaction.  Use your phone and reach out to others, but avoid crowds.
  • Avoid being around sick people or those who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 2 weeks.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice on your prenatal visits and immunizations.
  • Don’t smoke.  The use of tobacco can make it more difficult to fight an infection like COVID-19. 
  • Reduce stress – Take a walk outside, watch a feel-good movie, read a good book, play a game, journal, pray, listen to music, take some deep breaths, etc.
  • Take care of yourself – Eat a healthy diet, take your prenatal vitamins, and get plenty of sleep.

Visit Her Health to receive a free and confidential pregnancy test.

What if I get COVID-19 during pregnancy?  

Get medical help if you become ill. Call your physician’s office, local clinic, or local community health office for advice. One thing to be aware of is that fever can be of concern in pregnancy, especially if it lasts for a long time. If you have a fever (100.4 or higher) you should contact your healthcare provider. Acetaminophen may be recommended to reduce a fever during pregnancy.  Aspirin and ibuprofen are not advised during pregnancy.  Some good news from the CDC for those planning to parent: an increased risk of miscarriage or fetal malformations has not been documented in pregnant women who are infected with COVID-19.

What about Abortion and Covid-19? 

Chemical and surgical abortions are still available, just as they were prior to Covid-19.  You may hear more talk about chemical abortion (Mifeprex and misoprostol), Plan C, or self-managed abortion obtained through the mail.  

Please do not risk your life by purchasing abortion pills online.

The FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION continues to have safeguards in place to protect women:

  • Mifeprex must be ordered, prescribed, and dispensed by or under the supervision of a healthcare provider who prescribes and who meets certain qualifications
  • Mifeprex may only be dispensed in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals by or under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider
  • Healthcare providers who prescribe Mifeprex are required under FDA regulations to provide the patient with a copy of the FDA-approved information for patients.

STDs and Abortion

It is necessary to know if you’re pregnant, how far along you are, and to be treated for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) prior to an abortion.   

Her Health Women’s Center offers free and confidential testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. 

Her Health Women’s Center is open and ready to serve you in Sioux City and Le Mars Iowa!  We desire to meet your needs while stopping the spread of Covid-19.  For your protection, we wear masks, check our temperatures daily, sanitize our centers often, and screen ourselves for Covid-19.  We screen our clients and ask them to wear a mask too.  

Schedule Free Pregnancy Services

We offer early pregnancy services including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and STD checks for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. We do not perform or refer for abortions, but we are here to be a resource of information on all your options to empower you to make the best decision. All our services are free, so we do not profit from any choice you make. 

Contact us to schedule your free appointment.


Sources: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-pregnancy-childbirth-and-breastfeeding

Hyperthermia. (2019, July). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/hyperthermia-pregnancy/

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Mifeprex (mifepristone) Information. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information


Disclaimer: The sources cited for this article are found to be reliable; however, Her Health Women’s Center cannot endorse or oppose the entire content of the websites listed. The content of this blog is meant to be used for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical care.