COVID-19 Vaccine Fertility Concerns
Through the Empower blog, we always strive to provide factual, evidence-based information for the benefit of our patients and the surrounding community. Firelands Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Scott Campbell, recently received an inquiry about the COVID-19 vaccine and its effects on fertility. Here was the question:
I plan on having children. Should I get vaccinated?
Dear Dr. Campbell:
Please help. My children are grown and out of the house. I am having a hard time convincing them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Recently, the Delta variant has brought me, even more, fear and anxiety for my child’s well-being. Their fear, brought by misinformation on social media, is that getting the vaccine will make them unable to have children in the future. I have given them general information about the vaccine, but none of what I have shared has specifically addressed any fertility side effects. With the presence of the Delta variant and increased community spread, please give me some sound medical knowledge that I can share with my child. I only hope to keep them safe.
A response to concerns about COVID-19 vaccinations and fertility
I understand your plight, as I have two young adult “kids” of my own!
The fertility issue all started when researchers noted a protein on the placenta that seemed to be similar to the spike protein. Therefore, some extrapolated that the vaccine would attack the placenta, as it does the spike protein. This was proven to be false.
Unfortunately, this falsehood got out on social media and took off. Many people became concerned about the COVID-19 vaccine fertility issue. Note that the vaccine studies were done on tens of thousands of people and many went on to have normal births and deliveries. The same goes for our current situation, with now billions of doses of vaccines given worldwide, and no safety signal that there are any fertility issues. Tens of thousands of people have now received their vaccines and gone on to have normal pregnancies.
The American College of obstetricians, gynecologists, as well as many other maternal and fetal-related societies, have come out and stated that there is no risk to fertility, breastfeeding, or pregnancy after vaccination. Just the opposite actually. They have stated that your risk of having a bad maternal outcome, or premature death or birth of an infant can be increased with the COVID-19 virus itself. Therefore, the vaccine can prevent harm to your unborn child, and help decrease complications in your pregnancy. The American College of obstetricians and gynecologists (ACOG) along with the Society for maternal-fetal medicine (SMFM) as recently as July 30 of 2021 recommended that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The recommendations were in support of vaccination during pregnancy reflect evidence which demonstrates the safe use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months, as well as the current low vaccination rates and concerning increasing cases. ACOG has encouraged its physician members to enthusiastically recommend vaccination to their patients. There has been no link from the vaccine to fertility issues.
For your child to look this issue up on their own, I would refer them to the website for these organizations, which are the leading medical organizations behind all obstetric and fertility issues.
Hope that helps!
Dr. Scott Campbell, MD, FACEP
Chief Medical Officer