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Will getting the COVID-19 vaccine affect my fertility?

Candice Gates, M.D., and Courtland Keteyian, M.D.
for Henry Ford Health System
If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Protecting your own health is essential. And if you are a woman in your childbearing years, staying healthy can impact more than just yourself. Your choices—from the vitamins you take to your body weight, mental health or substance use—might impact a new life, should you become pregnant. It can also affect your ability to have a healthy pregnancy when and if you decide to. A new consideration for women is whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rumors and false information about the vaccine’s possible impact on fertility, pregnancy and miscarriage make it even harder for women to decide what’s best. This is a very personal decision. Women need to consider the facts about the vaccine as well as what could happen if they develop severe COVID-19 symptoms while pregnant.

Dr. Candice Gates is an OB/GYN with Henry Ford Allegiance Women’s Health in Jackson and cares for women at all stages of their reproductive life.

Know the facts on vaccines and reproductive health

  • It's safe to become pregnant after vaccination. If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The pandemic is not causing a change in fertility patterns. There is no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines cause early pregnancy loss or fertility problems in either women or men. While fever can be a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines—and fever can cause temporary declines in sperm production—it isn’t much different than someone experiencing a fever from COVID-19 or other illnesses.
  • Unvaccinated pregnant women have an increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. If you become sick with the virus while pregnant, your chances of needing intensive care and a ventilator are higher. This can put your unborn child at higher risk for a preterm birth. Risks are even greater for pregnant women of color.
Dr. Courtland Keteyian is board-certified in public health and general preventive medicine and is the Vice President for Population Health and Medical Director for Occupational Health at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson.

It’s worth remembering vaccines are nothing new in prenatal care. Historically, vaccines have contributed to women’s health and successful pregnancies. Pregnant women are routinely vaccinated against seasonal flu and whooping cough. 

More than 70,000 pregnant women in the United States have been infected with the virus. While these women developed antibodies like the ones created by the body after vaccination, there is no evidence of an increase in pregnancy loss. 

What to do if you have concerns about getting a vaccine

If you have safety concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with your healthcare provider. Make sure to also ask about the risks getting COVID-19 may pose to your reproductive health and your baby.

After considering the risks and benefits, women should be supported in whatever they decide. If you decide to receive the vaccine, it is important to continue COVID-19 safety measures:

  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Follow CDC travel and quarantine guidelines.

Want more advice from Henry Ford experts? Subscribe today to the Henry Ford LiveWell health and wellness blog to receive weekly emails of our latest tips.    

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit HenryFord.com/Vaccine for answers to frequently asked questions.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.
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