I Never Thought I’d Have to Fight Infertility and a Pandemic

I was already struggling to get pregnant. Then a pandemic hit.

Reniqua Allen
Published in
12 min readApr 8, 2020


A troubled black woman sits at the edge of her bed.
Photo: Adene Sanchez/Getty Images

FFor months, I have felt like my future was uncertain. Panic attacks were routine. Tears, a daily event. Anger, mixed with doubt, fear, and sometimes a little bit of hope, filled my body. I seemed to have no control over the thing I wanted most in the world, and it felt like there was nothing I could do about it. Month after month, my body kept confirming that rejection, and month after month, I cried until my tears ran dry, trying to accept and live with the unknown while accepting the current reality: I may never be able to become pregnant.

And then Covid-19 was thrust into the world. By the time the virus hit New York City, those uncontrollable feelings had tripled. The whole world was now in a panic, and the word “uncertainty” became a part of my daily vocabulary and everyone else’s. Life spun out of control, and no one knew what the future held. My problems with trying to create life suddenly felt small as the world’s focus turned to preserving life. Suddenly it seemed like everyone was facing a reality that was out of their control.

TTwo weeks ago, I walked into a midtown fertility clinic, panicked about the decision I had to make. I was about to start my first treatment for IVF after several rounds of failed IUI cycles and months of trying to conceive. Dealing with infertility is an inherently emotional and anxiety-producing event, one that has been compounded even more by the coronavirus pandemic. Each day, as news spread of the virus’ reach, I worried more and more about how this global pandemic was going to affect my reproductive life. It was a selfish impulse, it seemed, in a time when people were dying and falling ill from a rapidly spreading virus, but I had not figured out what infertility looked like when the world was shrouded in uncertainty. I had no idea how to coexist with the fear of death and of never creating life. Each day, I woke up and fell asleep to a steady chorus of heart palpitations thumping away.

In some ways, I had gotten used to the fears about conception, especially as a Black woman. Last year, I was told that at the ripe old age of 38, my reproductive years were waning, and at this “geriatric” age, I needed to…