LUBBOCK, Texas — One unexpected side effect of the pandemic is that fertility clinics have seen a large rise in demand.

“It was such a crazy year. It feels like it was 10 years rolled into one,” said Dr. Jennifer Phy, a fertility specialist at TTUHSC’s Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery.

At the start of the pandemic, Lubbock’s fertility clinics were forced to restrict some of their procedures due to COVID-19. IVF and some diagnostic procedures were suddenly off the table.

“Because those could impact the personal protective equipment and the availability of some hospital procedures,” said Dr. Phy.

As soon as clinics were able to offer them again, they were in high demand.

“We’ve had more and more new patients. We’ve been busier than ever this year,” said Phy.

In just the second half of 2020, TTUHSC’s Fertility center saw over 100 IVF patients and at least 100 frozen embryo transfer patients, more than they saw in the entirety of 2019.

Dr. Jennifer Phy a fertility specialist said even with a pandemic, people still wanted to carry out the plans they had for their families.

“Couples were very concerned. It was a very scary time, but I think that people have their eye on the prize of having a family, and I didn’t really have any patients that decided not to conceive during this time,” said Dr. Phy.

Some even feel that it might have been a good time to start a family as some jobs began to offer increased flexibility.

“Despite the pandemic, I think people keep their vision of wanting to have a family and wanting that no matter what the circumstances,” said Dr. Phy.

National guidelines currently don’t warn against seeking fertility treatment, and Dr. Phy encourages patients to seek help if they might need it.

“I think we are going to see a lot of babies in 2021.”