Does the COVID-19 vaccine impact fertility?
- The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility; there is no biological mechanism that connects the vaccine to child development, puberty or fertility. The vaccine does not work that way in the body.
- This myth arose from a false report on social media that incorrectly linked the spike protein on the coronavirus to the spike protein called syncitin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility, but the two spike proteins are completely different and distinct!
- When scientists compared the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to placental syncytin-1 spike protein, the genetic overlaps were minimal. In this study, scientists found that antibodies against the syncytin-1 spike protein do not increase in the months following COVID-19 vaccination, further indicating that a syncytin-1 based mechanism of infertility is not supported by scientific observations.
- The study further suggests that the immune response generated after mRNA vaccination is safer in pregnancy than the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Even high doses of the mRNA vaccine did not result in negative impacts on the developing fetus.
- A January 2022 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at 2,000 couples trying to conceive without fertility treatment. Findings showed no differences in the likelihood of conception between vaccinated and unvaccinated couples. It also showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection among male partners was associated with a short-term decline in fertility that may be avoidable by vaccination.
- Results from recent research studies show that people who menstruate may observe small, temporary changes in menstruation after COVID-19 vaccination, including:
- Longer-lasting menstrual periods
- Shorter intervals between periods
- Heavier bleeding than usual
Despite these temporary changes in menstruation, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems.
- A study of 45 healthy men who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine looked at sperm characteristics, like quantity and movement, before and after vaccination. Researchers found no significant changes in these sperm characteristics after vaccination.
- There is no evidence that any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine, can cause fertility side effects.
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