As more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine, just as many remain apprehensive, unsure or misinformed. Over the last few months, you may have heard rumors or seen social media posts raising the concern about fertility related to the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Alexis Greene, Westmed Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist, answers some common questions about infertility and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?
There is no current scientific evidence to support the claims that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility. I would argue that women trying to conceive should be strongly encouraged to get vaccines to develop immunity prior to pregnancy, so as to protect themselves and their baby from the complications of COVID-19.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause miscarriage?
There is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding this topic. Some of this misinformation is the result of a popular blogger, who falsely claimed that antibodies elicited by the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine could attack the placenta. This is NOT true. While the protein found in the placenta does share minimal genetic instructions to the mRNA, there is no evidence to suggest that antibodies from the vaccine can attack the placenta. The v-safe COVID-19 Pregnancy Registry is keeping track of all women in the periconception period (within 30 days before last menstrual period) or during pregnancy, that have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine – according to the data, there is no difference in miscarriage rates.
What advice would you give patients who are thinking about becoming pregnant but are worried about getting the vaccine?
I would advise them to not be afraid of the vaccine. All of our national societies, including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the CDC, are recommending the vaccine to those trying to conceive or who are pregnant. The vaccine is safe and effective. Contracting COVID-19 and the complications that can arise in pregnancy is far worse than the theoretical risk of the vaccine.
If you have any concerns about the vaccine and future family planning, make an appointment with your primary care physician, OB-GYN or one of our fertility specialists. You can also visit our COVID-19 Resources page for more information, FAQs and more.