COVID-19 Information

Pregnant Women Needed to Enroll in a COVID-19 Study

Written By: Women & Infants Fertility Center on August 25, 2020


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No data exists yet about the impact of COVID-19 during the first trimester of pregnancy. The University of California San Francisco invites pregnant women nationwide to join a study to document outcomes for both mother and child during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

University enrolling pregnant women in first trimester for COVID-19 study

After months of havoc inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many mysteries remain about its transmission and long-term effects. For pregnant women and those just starting a journey to overcome infertility, there is hardly any research about whether and how contracting COVID-19 will affect a fetus or a woman’s future fertility, reports the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).

The University of California San Francisco has launched a study focusing on the first trimester of pregnancy, and pregnant women nationwide are invited to learn more. Called Assessing the Safety of Pregnancy in the CoRonavirus PandEmic (ASPIRE), the study aims to understand how COVID-19 affects the health of pregnant women and their babies. Women & Infants Fertility Center is pleased to be involved in this study by sharing this information with our pregnant patients.

First trimester of pregnancy is the most critical point for research

The ASPIRE website acknowledges that the first 10 weeks of pregnancy are the most critical and most vulnerable for fetal development. However, no data exists about the impact of COVID-19 during this critical period when all of the baby’s organs begin to form.

ASPIRE researchers believe that “everyone is a stakeholder” in a pregnancy, including the pregnant woman, the unborn child, the family, healthcare providers and society at large. Therefore this study is essential.

With ASPIRE, the researchers aim to answer the following questions to inform evidence-based care and public health policy.

  • Is now a safe time to get pregnant?
  • Are babies exposed during the first trimester at higher risk of congenital malformations or neurologic issues?
  • Even if a woman doesn’t experience COVID-19 symptoms, could the virus affect her pregnancy or the fetus?
  • Are certain pregnant women at higher risk of dangerous outcomes for either themselves or their babies?

Related Reading: Managing Stress & Infertility During the Pandemic

Pregnant women's requirements to register for the study

If you are older than 18 and between 4 to 10 weeks pregnant, you can apply to enroll in ASPIRE.

During the study, participants will complete the following tasks:

  • Frequently submit symptom tracking reports using a mobile phone or computer.
  • Collect blood samples via finger-sticking several times throughout the study.
  • Give permission to the study team to review medical records that relate to your pregnancy, the baby’s development and your delivery.
  • Complete online questionnaires about your overall health during the pregnancy and after delivering the baby.

If you would like to share your experience of pregnancy during the pandemic, visit the ASPIRE website or email ASPIRE@ucsf.edu.