Don’t believe the misinformation about the COVID vaccine on pregnancy and fertility
The internet is awash with misinformation about the coronavirus. Social media, in particular, has rapidly spread rumors and misinformation about the COVID vaccine on pregnancy and fertility. It has made many women apprehensive and scared to get the shot.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, patients and the public have had questions about the impact of the virus on their health. Similarly, as the rollout of the COVID vaccines progresses, our doctors field questions daily from fertility patients who are worried about whether the vaccine is right for their individual health needs and their reproductive health, in particular.
Can getting vaccinated for COVID cause infertility?
The answer to this question is no, and the physicians at Fertility Answers would like to reassure women that there is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to infertility. However, pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are at a much higher risk of severe and long term complications. Therefore, we strongly recommend women to consider the vaccine to help prevent these complications.
False reports on social media
The COVID vaccine works by encouraging the body to make copies of the coronavirus spike protein. Doing so teaches the immune system how to fight this specific protein and the virus itself. This process doesn’t relate to fertility, but rumors about the COVID vaccine and fertility went viral on the internet.
It all started with a false report on social media. The report claimed that the vaccine would train the human immune system to create a protein that would cross-react with a vital placenta protein that affects the growth and attachment of the placenta during a pregnancy. The false report claimed that getting the vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this protein and harm the placenta, ultimately causing infertility.
This information is false. The protein that benefits the placenta and the coronavirus spike protein are not the same and there’s no evidence that getting the coronavirus vaccine will harm a woman’s placenta or her fertility.
Statement from ASRM
An official statement from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, ASRM, should also reassure patients and the public alike that the vaccine is safe for women.
“As experts in reproductive health, we continue to recommend that the vaccine be available to pregnant individuals. We also assure patients that there is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility. While fertility was not specifically studied in the clinical trials of the vaccine, no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies. Loss of fertility is scientifically unlikely.” (ASRM, 2021)
For more information, please visit American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s Practice Advisory on Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19.
The bottom line
What is our doctors’ bottom line message about the vaccines? The vaccines are safe. They are highly effective against serious disease. The emerging evidence about infectiousness looks really good. There is no evidence that it affects fertility. And, if you have access to a vaccine and you’re eligible, you should get it.
If you have additional questions about the COVID vaccine and fertility, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our Louisiana fertility specialists can help you understand the latest guidance.