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Living through a pandemic brings new questions and concerns every day. As two new mRNA vaccines become available to the public, it raises questions like, how will these vaccines impact my body? Will my fertility be affected? Will these vaccines complicate my pregnancy? Although these are new 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. These vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, as the CDC writes, “they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein— that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.” These vaccines will slow the increasing spread of a dangerous virus and ensure the safety of those who are vaccinated.
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.”
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.
As far as trying to conceive, 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.”
As the battle with COVID-19 continues on a global scale, lowering your risk as best you can is crucial. Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, distancing from others, and washing your hands are all productive ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. 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. As far as scientists and doctors know, the COVID-19 vaccines do not impede on fertility or cause complications in pregnancy.
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