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Over the past five years, Oova has helped countless women take control of their fertility.
Here's what to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and infertility if you're currently trying to conceive.
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-19 and infertility?
To understand if there’s a link between COVID-19 and infertility, it’s crucial to understand what COVID-19 vaccines actually do.
Although COVID-19 vaccines are newer vaccines than other vaccines we might be familiar with — flu, polio, or chickenpox, for example — the scientific and medical communities know a lot about the science behind mRNA and protein subunit vaccines. All types of COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies recognize and fight off from the virus that causes COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines that use mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) teach our cells how to make a protein, which triggers an immune response, which produces antibodies that protect us from the real virus. Protein subunit vaccines (NovaVax) contain proteins of the virus that cause COVID-19 and an adjuvant, which helps the immune system know how to respond to those types of proteins.
Regardless of which vaccine you get, you’ll boost your immunity to COVID-19 and reduce your chances of hospitalization or death if you do get COVID-19.
As for the link between COVID-19 and infertility, there is no evidence that COVID-vaccines impact fertility.
A 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis of various studies on the subject concluded that there is no difference in pregnancy rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.
Although there isn’t much data for these specific vaccines, Dr. Serena Chen, reproductive endocrinologist, 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.”
Yes, pregnant people should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Not only does the vaccine provide protection for you as a mother, but the vaccine can also provide protection for your newborn.
A study from the Multisite Observational Maternal and Infant Study for COVID-19 (MOMI-VAX) found that pregnant people who got the vaccine and booster had more antibodies to protect themselves from getting COVID-19. This is crucial protection as pregnant people are more likely to be hospitalized and die from severe COVID-19, according to NIH.
Dr. Chen 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”.
Not only do the vaccines and booster provide immunity to the mother, but the study found that the antibodies generated from the vaccine might transfer to fetuses through the placenta. This provides newborns protection against COVID-19 in the beginning of their life, when they’re vulnerable to COVID-19 but too young to be vaccinated themselves.
Vaccination against COVID-19 can promote health and safety throughout a person’s pregnancy and in the beginning of their baby’s life.
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 — and can even help protect your newborn.
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