Contrary to popular assumption, we weren’t spending all lockdown canoodling, says a leading testing expert. Government figures show conceptions fell significantly during the pandemic.
However, a 21% jump in the number of women taking fertility tests this year shows romance may be returning post–Covid.
With many couples finding themselves spending far more time together during Covid lockdowns, some health experts predicted a boom in conceptions during the pandemic.
However, the leading testing expert, Dr Quinton Fivelman, PhD, chief scientific officer at London Medical Laboratory, says the reality turned out to be the opposite. New pregnancies fell during 2020.
‘The assumption was that young couples stuck in the house together for long periods would do what comes naturally. However, that was not the case, looking at the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).’
‘Conceptions during 2020 tumbled. Only 817,515 couples conceived during 2020, down from 821,089 in 2019, just before Covid hit the UK.’
‘Far from a baby boom, the number of babies conceived in 2020 and born in 2020-2021 was more of a baby bust. The biggest fall was among younger couples. It seems young love was put under pressure during the pandemic.’
‘A total of 138,373 women between the age of 20–24 conceived in 2020, down from 145,410 in 2019. That’s the lowest number for this age group since these records started in 2019.’
‘London looks to be one of the areas where the magic of spending more time together really didn’t work. Conceptions fell from 156,716 in 2019 to 150,871 in 2020.’
‘There is some evidence, however, that, although conceptions in 2020 were markedly down overall, numbers began to pick up in the second half of the year. That may imply we did not all become irredeemably bored with our partners.’
‘These findings are backed up by the latest results from London Medical Laboratory, which shows a 21% increase in the number of women requesting a Fertility Hormones Profile blood test kit this year. That’s a likely indicator that more women may be planning to conceive now Covid lockdowns are, hopefully, a thing of the past. It may indeed be true that a little more absence makes the heart grow fonder.’
‘With more women looking to become pregnant post-Covid, it’s helpful to ensure they are in the best of general health and fertility. A hormone and fertility blood test will measure levels of key hormones.’
- Oestradiol is a form of oestrogen and these hormone tests are used for the evaluation of ovarian functions
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) stimulates the growth and development of unfertilised eggs during the menstrual cycle in women
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH) regulates the menstrual cycle and ovulation by stimulating the ovaries to produce other reproductive hormones
- Prolactin promotes lactation (breast milk production) in women during pregnancy and after childbirth
‘London Medical Laboratory’s own new-generation Fertility Hormones Profile blood test is highly accurate and quick and simple to carry out, either at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer this test. It takes around five minutes, with results usually emailed the next day.’