COVID-19 vaccines are an effective tool for lowering your risk of contracting and experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Yet are these vaccines safe for pregnant people and those trying to conceive? What's the link between Covid and fertility?
What do mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do?
Although these are newer vaccines, the scientific and medical communities know a lot about the science behind mRNA vaccines, the risk of coronavirus, and the physiology of reproduction.
The technology of mRNA vaccines isn’t new, and has been used to fight other viruses before.
Current COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. According to the Center for Disease Control, these vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein, which triggers an immune response, which produces antibodies that protect us from the real virus.
These vaccines will slow the increasing spread of a dangerous virus and ensure the safety of those who are vaccinated.
Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?
As far as trying to conceive, there is no evidence shows that these vaccines will impact fertility.
Although there is no data for these specific vaccines, Dr. Chen says, “We don’t have any scientific reason to believe that there’s a plausible method of action that the COVID-19 vaccines would impact fertility.”
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Should pregnant people get a COVID-19 vaccine?
ASRM, ACOG and SMFM encourage all people trying to conceive and pregnant to consider the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
On December 6th, 2020, ASRM wrote, “Because COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not composed of live virus, they are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second trimester loss, stillbirth, or congenital anomalies.”
COVID-19 vaccines and fertility: benefits and risks
For most people, the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. This applies to pregnant people especially. Recent studies have shown that pregnancy puts individuals at a higher risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms if they contract the virus.
Dr. Serena Chen of IRMS says, “We’re in a pandemic, where people are dying every day, including pregnant women…just by being pregnant, you’re in a high risk category. You’re more than 10 times higher risk of death, and a significantly higher risk of ending up in the hospital, or ending up on a ventilator. Pregnancy is very high risk with coronavirus itself. Therefore, any theoretical risks of the vaccine seem to be far outweighed by the known risks of COVID-19”.
Vaccination would help these individuals ensure their health and safety throughout their pregnancies.
The bottom line
As far as doctors and scientists know, COVID-19 vaccines do not impede on fertility or cause complications in pregnancy. The risk of getting COVID-19, especially if you're pregnant, is much higher than the risks of the vaccine.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal decision, and should only be made after you’ve done research and weighed the options of your situation.
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