Frozen embryos, sperm and eggs will be big travelers in post-COVID-19 cross-border reproductive care
SINGAPORE, May 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to have major impacts on the nature of cross-border reproductive care where infertile couples and individuals in the past have traveled extensively overseas to access medically assisted procreation.
The 2022 Asia Pacific Reproductive Initiative (ASPIRE) Congress learned that as the pandemic unfolded, access to fertility care in other countries was severely restricted due to the border closures, adverse effects of COVID-19 during pregnancy, and vaccine hesitancy issues.
Australian fertility specialist, Dr. Claire Boothroydsaid today that restrictions on commercial surrogacy have emerged as the coronavirus and its variants have spread across the world and there has been a sudden shortage of donated sperm, eggs and blood. embryos.
“Early and immediate restrictions on cross-border travel prevented many couples who had commissioned surrogates from assuming parentage for their newborns after gestational carriage,” she explained.
“This has created overt anxiety and reduced bonding, while the forced or voluntary closure of assisted reproduction in some centers has also led some women with limited fertility windows to realize they will never become mothers. resulted in enormous psychological distress.
“Clinic closures have also resulted in a significant reduction in local assisted reproduction for infertile residents and those considering donating eggs or sperm, exacerbating a global shortage.”
Dr Boothroyd is President-Elect of ASPIRE and President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Specialists in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
COVID-19 restrictions have eased significantly, vaccination rates are increasing globally, and fertility clinics are operating with new risk mitigation strategies in place. Dr Boothroyd said this would lead to a further increase in cross-border reproductive care, but with one major difference.
“One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic has been that fertility clinics have embraced telemedicine, and this is likely to change the face of cross-border reproductive care in the future,” she told ASPIRE Congress.
She said expectant parents will increasingly communicate by telephone or electronically with fertility clinics abroad to access donated gametes that will be transported to them cryopreserved (frozen) back to their home countries.
“In the future, cryopreserved eggs, sperm and embryos will make much of the travel that was previously undertaken by people wishing to access reproductive care abroad,” Dr Boothroyd added.
There is a serious shortage of accurate data on the level of cross-border reproductive care, but this is a growing phenomenon around the world, as thousands of infertile individuals and couples travel in hopes of fulfilling their dreams of becoming relative.
the Asia Pacific The region has been a booming market for procedures such as sperm, egg and embryo donation and surrogacy, but this has recently been limited by legislation and the pandemic
Reasons for crossing borders to access reproductive care include the banning or restriction of certain services in the country of origin, or overly expensive treatments where people live. Unmarried couples with infertility and same-sex couples wishing to have a baby face even more difficult legal and cultural barriers to treatment in many countries.
ASPIRE is a task force of clinicians, scientists, nurses and counselors involved in the management of infertility and assisted reproductive technology in the Asia Pacific Region.
Delegates from over 100 countries attend the ASPIRE Congress to address the physical and psychological barriers faced by couples seeking parenthood and the latest advances in infertility treatment with results that will help shape the future of assisted design internationally.
For more information on the ASPIRE Congress 2022, visit www.aspire-2022.com
SOURCE Asia-Pacific Initiative on Reproduction