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COVID-19 Vaccine and Fertility – Your Questions Answered

All adults in the U.S. are now able to get the COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 “shot”.

The COVID-19 vaccine is new, and many people have questions about how the vaccine might impact their ability to get pregnant in the future. It’s normal to have these concerns! But don’t worry, we have done our research and can tell you what you need to know.

We got the facts in this blog from these sources:

Is it safe to get the vaccine while I am pregnant?

Yes, the CDC believes the vaccine is safe for pregnant moms. The CDC has been tracking people who got the COVID-19 vaccine during clinical trials and then found out they were pregnant. There have been no reported problems.

Pregnant people have been safely getting vaccinated long before COVID-19. Pregnant women are regularly vaccinated for flu and whooping cough. “It’s worth remembering vaccines are nothing new in prenatal care. Historically, vaccines have contributed to women’s health and successful pregnancies,” says Henry Ford doctor, Courtland Keteyian, M.D.

 

Is it safe to get pregnant after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. It is completely safe to get pregnant after getting the vaccine. You don’t need to wait to get pregnant or avoid it.

During the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women volunteers involved in the study became pregnant. None of the women who received the vaccine had a pregnancy loss.

 

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make it harder for me to get pregnant in the future (infertility)?

No. Evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause infertility. In fact, there is no evidence that any vaccines cause infertility.

“Women who participated in the COVID-19 clinical trials were able to conceive after vaccination,” says Henry Ford doctor D’Angela Pitts, M.D. “We also have many patients here at Henry Ford who got vaccinated and then became pregnant afterwards. Some are in their first trimester, some are now in their second trimester. There’s no evidence to show that the COVID-19 vaccines lead to reduced fertility.”

Why do some people think the COVID-19 vaccine will cause infertility?

This myth started in December 2020. A German scientist had a false theory that the protein used in the COVID-19 vaccine would be similar to the protein that makes up the placenta (the placenta is an organ inside a pregnant mom’s uterus, used to nourish a fetus). He thought that if these two proteins were too similar, our bodies could get confused and accidentally make antibodies that reject the placenta while making antibodies to reject COVID-19. This has been proven false.

This theory was proven wrong during COVID-19 vaccine tests. The theory is proven wrong over and over again in real time, now that women who are vaccinated are becoming pregnant with no problems caused by the vaccine.

Henry Ford doctor D’Angela Pitts, M.D. says this theory is wrong. “The proteins are not similar enough to cause placenta to not attach to an embryo.”

Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain a live virus?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus. Doctors don’t recommend vaccines using live viruses to pregnant people, because it could affect the fetus.

 

How can we trust a vaccine that is so new? 

That is a very fair question. It can be scary to trust an invention that seems so new and unknown. Here are some reasons why we trust the new COVID-19 vaccine.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is new, the technology it uses is not new, and has been proven safe. The COVID-19 vaccine uses mRNA. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that helps us fight COVID-19. This mRNA technology has been used in many other medical treatments and has had no negative effects on pregnancy or fertility.

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus. They don’t even contain a weakened form of the live virus. There are many vaccines that use the live virus method (those are also safe), but this one does not. Live virus vaccines aren’t recommended for pregnant people. So, you can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not interact with your DNA. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, where DNA is kept. As soon as your cells use the instructions from the mRNA to fight COVID-19, the cell gets rid of the mRNA from the vaccine.

The COVID-19 has to pass the same safety tests as all other vaccines. The only vaccines available are approved by the FDA. The process of creating the COVID-19 vaccine was very quick because the government used taxpayer dollars to allow scientists to focus all of their time on creating a safe vaccine.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is safer than getting infected with COVID-19 while pregnant. 

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help you have a healthier, safer pregnancy. We know now that pregnant people are more likely to be severely ill if they get COVID-19.

Severe illness means that a pregnant person with COVID-19 may have to go to the hospital, get intensive care, be on a ventilator, and is more likely to die.

We also know that having COVID-19 while pregnant can make you more likely to have your baby too early (a preterm birth) or have a stillbirth. Pregnant women who have COVID-19 are also at a higher risk for maternal death. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine before pregnancy or during pregnancy can keep you and your baby safe from COVID-19.

 

Where can I get more information or discuss this with a trusted professional?

Talk to your doctor or health care provider about getting the vaccine if you feel unsure. If you are a WIN Network: Detroit mom, reach out to your Community Health Worker or Certified Nurse Midwife to talk it over.

More information can be found at HenryFord.com/Vaccine and CDC.gov

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