What This Means For You
It’s important to know that there’s no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects a woman’s fertility. If you still have concerns, speak to your primary care physician or OB/GYN.
It’s natural to feel anxious when so much information is circulating widely on social media, but your doctor should be able to put your mind at ease about the safety and health benefits of the vaccine.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
What Are The Concerns About The Covid
Rumors about a connection between the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility began at the end of 2020 when a screenshot claiming that the head of Pfizer research said that the vaccine meant sterilization for women circulated on social media.
“Because topics related to reproductive health are incredibly emotional, false anti-vaccination claims have spread across the internet, and have deterred some of the most vulnerable populations from receiving the only effective tool in preventing the risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19,” notes Dr. Levine.
Focus Of Future Research
The authors note several strengths to their study, including a large number of participants from geographically and socioeconomically diverse populations.
The studys limitations include a reliance on self-reporting of infection and vaccination status. Also, as the authors note, for couples in which the male partner did not complete his questionnaire, we relied on female report of male vaccination status.
When MNT asked Prof. Schaffner what further research is necessary, he explained: As we go forward and develop other new vaccines updated COVID-19 vaccines and any others that involve reproductive-age adults fertility is an issue that needs to be addressed. It will come up again with other vaccines.
Wesselink agreed and added: We definitely need to know more about the effects of COVID-19 itself on reproductive health. In our study, for instance, we didnt have data on symptoms or severity of infection, so research investigating how these factors correlate with reproductive function is warranted.
For live updates on the latest developments regarding COVID-19, click here.
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Understanding Those Menstrual Cycle Side Effects
So the numbers reported out of the United Kingdom and anecdotal reports of shifts in cycles are not cause for alarm. In fact, its to be expected, in a way: Anything that impacts the immune system, ranging from new medication from a vaccine to stress, can potentially trigger this side effect. And while experts have said these side effects are short-lived and harmless, when it comes to studying the vaccines on people who get periods they do want to see more data to understand the why behind them.
There is a large amount of scientific evidence showing that hormonal system is very delicate and can be influenced easily by physical, chemical, and emotional stressors, Dr.Mindy Pelz, M.D., a functional medicine and womens health expert and author of The Menopause Reset, explains. This vaccine could fall into the category of a stressor that has an impact on the ebbs and flows of hormones.
Any stress to the body or immune system can potentially cause a temporary delay or change to menstruation, Culwell concurs. It is possible that this could happen with other vaccines as well, is a very unusual time where we have large numbers of people getting vaccinated at the same time so that may explain why we are hearing a cluster of these reports.
There is some evidence that a strong immune response can impact your period, adds Roskin. Cells from the immune system are involved in the regulation, build up and shedding of the endometrial lining that causes menstrual bleeding.
Everything We Know About Covid Vaccines Fertility And Period Changes
If you’ve heard murmurs linking COVID-19 vaccines with infertility, you aren’t alone. At the start of the pandemic, a blog post falsely claimed that the antibody response spurred to fight COVID-19 after vaccination would also fight off the formation of a protein essential to placenta formation, leading to early pregnancy loss.
Not only have researchers debunked the claim, proving that the antibodies that target the spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus aren’t similar enough to the protein required for pregnancy, but there have also been no differences in pregnancy success between women who have antibodies against COVID-19 from natural infection, those who have antibodies from vaccination and those who don’t have any.
So why the confusion? Aside from a misinformation campaign against COVID-19 vaccines, pregnant people have historically been excluded from medical studies, and the initial COVID-19 vaccine trials were no exception — leading to a lack of clear data earlier in the pandemic. Plus, anecdotal stories about how the COVID vaccines affect menstrual cycles caused even more panic and skepticism.
Here’s what researchers say now about fertility, COVID-19 and the vaccines, and why your period might be slightly late the month after you’re vaccinated.
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How To Get Vaccinated
Your maternity hospital or GP can arrange your vaccination if you are pregnant.
For your first round of vaccination, you can choose to register online for a vaccination appointment.
For both your first round of vaccination and your booster, you can also:
Cdc Urges Pregnant Women To Get Vaccinated Amid Troubling New Data
Researchers have been studying the effects of Covid on the human reproductive system since the beginning of the pandemic. While theres no evidence that Covid can be sexually transmitted, research suggests that the cells in the reproductive system are feasible targets for the virus, because they carry some of the receptors the coronavirus must bind to in order to enter cells.
The idea that a virus could cause infertility is not unprecedented. We do have historic evidence that there are certain viruses that are more likely to impact either male or female fertility, Kawwass said.
For example, human papillomavirus , hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infections have all been linked to decreased fertility. Its unclear, however, if a respiratory virus, like the coronavirus, could have the same effect. But the fact that male and female reproductive organs have the receptors the Covid virus targets means its certainly plausible that the virus could cause fertility issues, she said.
Moreover, the symptoms of Covid primarily fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit for at least three days are known to cause fertility issues, especially in men.
The symptoms of the disease, rather the virus itself, may be the culprit when it comes to causing fertility issues.
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Do Covid Vaccines Make It Harder To Get Pregnant
No, according to a February statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. COVID-19 vaccines are encouraged for people who are already pregnant and those who might want to be in the future.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says theres currently no evidence that any vaccine, including ones for COVID-19, causes fertility problems for either men or women.
Heres research to back up the agencies claim: One study published in the Lancet looked at people who got pregnant while participating in trials for AstraZenecas vaccine . The researchers found no differences in pregnancy rates or fertility between those who received the COVID-19 vaccine versus the placebo, and also no difference in miscarriage rates.
Another study published in BioMed Central looked at 36 couples actively trying to conceive using in vitro fertilization. While noting that larger studies should be done to confirm, researchers wrote: mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine did not affect patients performance or ovarian reserve in their immediate subsequent IVF cycle.
But having data that confirms both accidental and planned pregnancies continue to occur in equal numbers, regardless of vaccination status, might ease the initial hesitation around the new mRNA technology used in Pfizer and Modernas COVID vaccines.
Myth: Now That We Have A Vaccine For Covid
FACT: The thousands of viruses that cause various diseases are very different. Many change year by year, making it difficult to develop one vaccine that works for a long period of time.
Developing vaccines for some disease-causing viruses is tough. For example, the virus that causes HIV can hide and make itself undetectable by the human immune system, which makes creating a vaccine for it extremely difficult.
The common cold can be caused by any one of hundreds of different viruses, so a vaccine for just one of them would not be very effective.
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Myth: The Side Effects Of The Covid
FACT: In April 2021, the CDC temporarily paused and then resumed use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read full story.
The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines can have side effects, but the vast majority are very short term not serious or dangerous. The vaccine developers report that some people experience pain where they were injected body aches headaches or fever, lasting for a day or two. These are signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune system. If symptoms persist beyond two days, you should call your doctor.
If you have allergies especially severe ones that require you to carry an EpiPen discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with your doctor, who can assess your risk and provide more information about if and how you can get vaccinated safely.
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Covid And Female Fertility
New evidence from a study by Ting Ding and colleagues in Wuhan, China, suggests that COVID-19 may interfere with female reproductive functions, causing irregularities in the menstrual cycle in addition to fertility problems. In some cases, this coronavirus decreases markers of fertility by attacking the ovaries and disrupting sex hormone levels.
Lets go over exactly how this happens. ACE2 is a cell receptor that COVID-19 uses to enter the body. There are lots of ACE2 located on the ovaries, uterus, and vagina to regulate ovulation, change endometrial tissue, and influence embryo development. So COVID may interfere with female fertility by harming ovarian tissue, reducing egg quality , and damaging cells that are important for reproduction.
The study by Ting Ding, published in Frontiers in Medicine, observed 78 female patients who had COVID. They found that the virus disrupts female sex hormone levels and negatively impacts ovarian reserves and endocrine function via ACE2. This problem may be even worse for people diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome , as PCOS already causes issues with hormone levels and fertility.
But again, researchers have only just begun looking into this, and more evidence is needed to determine the impact of COVID on female fertility and ovary function over time.
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Myth: If Ive Already Had Covid
FACT: Evidence continues to indicate that getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against getting COVID-19, whether you have already had COVID-19 or not.
- A indicates that if you had COVID-19 before and are not vaccinated, your risk of getting reinfected is more than two times higher than for those who were infected and got vaccinated.
- While evidence suggests there is some level of immunity for those who previously had COVID, it is not known how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again. Plus, the level of immunity provided by the vaccines after having COVID-19 is higher than the level of immunity for those who had COVID but were not subsequently vaccinated.
- Getting vaccinated provides greater protection to others since the vaccine helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.
At the time of vaccination, be sure to tell your care provider about your history of COVID-19 illness, including the kind of treatment, if any, you received and when you recovered. Wait until your isolation period ends before making an appointment to get the vaccination.
Myth: Getting The Covid
FACT: The CDC continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and makes recommendations for wearing face masks, both for those who are fully vaccinated as well as those who are not fully vaccinated.
The CDC also recommends that masks and physical distancing are required when going to the doctors office, hospitals or long-term care facilities, including all Johns Hopkins hospitals, care centers and offices.
Johns Hopkins Medicines current mask safety guidelines have not changed, and we still require all individuals to wear masks inside all of our facilities.
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Does Getting Covid Make It Harder To Get Pregnant
It depends, current research says. One study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, which looked at heterosexual couples trying to get spontaneously pregnant, found that a woman getting sick with COVID-19 didnt impact a couples chance of conceiving, but a male partners recent bout with COVID-19 did temporarily lower a couples chances.
Although researchers believe its short-term, couples who were trying to conceive had a slightly lower chance of getting pregnant if the male partner had COVID-19 within 60 days of the reported menstrual cycle period. After 60 days had passed since the partners COVID-19 infection, there werent any fertility differences. Women who were tracking their menstrual cycles reported their partners medical history and vaccination status in the study, though some male partners completed a questionnaire.
A smaller semen analysis study has also linked COVID-19 illness with poor sperm quality and similar issues, but researchers from that study noted that participants semen quality prior to COVID-19 was unknown.
Research Studies In People Trying To Become Pregnant
- There is currently no evidence that vaccine ingredients or antibodies made following COVID-19 vaccination would cause any problems with becoming pregnant now or in the future.
- A recent studyexternal icon found no differences in pregnancy success rates among women who had antibodies from COVID-19 vaccines or from a recent COVID-19 infection, and women who had no antibodies.
- Like with all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects and will report findings as they become available.
Learn how COVID-19 vaccines work.
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Can I Have A Covid
If you’re trying for a baby, there is nothing in the current UK government guidance to say that you shouldn’t have a COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance also says that, once you have had a vaccine, there is no reason to avoid becoming pregnant afterwards.
Theres currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines could affect male or female fertility. The Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Gynaecologists have said there is not a plausible way in which there could be an effect.
The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists and the British Fertility Society have stated similarly. They advise that you can still have a COVID-19 vaccine while having fertility treatment such as IVF.
Does The Vaccine Affect The Hormones
Reports of menstrual cycle changes after getting vaccinated have also fueled concerns about future infertility. Changes in the menstrual cycle generally indicate hormone fluctuations, so it is understandable to wonder about how fertility might be affected.
Hormones play a role in when menarche occurs as well as how children grow and develop. Infertility is often linked to hormonal imbalance. Hearing the stories of people who experienced menstrual cycle changes after getting vaccinated may be concerning if you are deciding whether to immunize your children.
A research study found that about a fifth of women experienced menstrual cycle changesheavier bleeding, lighter bleeding, or a longer duration of bleedingafter getting vaccinated. That being said, the changes were considered insignificant and lasted over the short term only. Short-term hormonal shifts that resolve themselves would not be a concern for future fertility.
The study also tested blood samples for sex hormones, finding no significant difference between those who had been vaccinated for COVID-19 and those who had not.
It could also be that the stress from the pandemic itself is affecting menstrual cycles, rather than the vaccine.”Personally, my period has been off since schools shut down back last March,” says Jennifer Ellis, a mom of a newly-turned 5-year-old daughter who just got her first shot. “I think it’ll finally settle down once Vera is fully vaccinated. I can’t wait for her to get her second shot!”
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Millions Of Children Globally Affected By Covid
SATURDAY, Feb. 26, 2022 — Spring allergies are a perennial annoyance, but if you’re focusing on the pandemic, they still could catch you by surprise, an expert says.
People still have COVID on their minds, said Dr. Mark Corbett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
They might not be thinking about spring allergies, so symptoms could sneak up on them,” Corbett said in a college news release.
“One of the most important tools for battling spring allergies is to get ahead of symptoms,” he advised. “Begin taking your allergy medications two to three weeks before your itching and sneezing normally start to occur. And be aware that, thanks to climate change, symptoms may appear even earlier than normal.”
Both COVID-19 and spring allergies can cause symptoms such as cough, fatigue and headache. But COVID — especially the Omicron variant — can cause more nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, postnasal drainage and symptoms of a sinus infection, while allergies rarely cause a fever.
If you think you might have COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible. If its not COVID-19 and your symptoms have been dragging on for a while, get tested for seasonal allergies, Corbett advised.
It’s important to know your allergy triggers so you can treat them properly.
Allergy shots and pills can also prevent the development of asthma in some children with seasonal allergies, according to Corbett.