As the vaccines continue to roll out all over the world, it is only logical to wonder about any kind of effects the Covid-19 vaccine might have on pregnancy. Moreover, though high-risk elderly and healthcare workers are the only factions currently getting vaccinated, the rest of the population will soon follow. Thus, it is important to take into consideration pregnancy and all its aspects while thinking about taking the coronavirus vaccine.
Fertility and the coronavirus vaccine
Despite the misinformation floating around on social media, the coronavirus vaccine has no evident effect on female or male fertility. In the United Kingdom, both the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives announced in a mutual statement: “There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.”
On the other hand, men’s situation is a little bit different from women’s. While the vaccine doesn’t affect males’ fertility per-se, some new studies are theorizing that the coronavirus itself is causing inflammation in the testicles and even affecting sperm production. Thus, the virus is resulting in less sperm.
Furthermore, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) stated that “Patients undergoing fertility treatment and pregnant patients should be encouraged to receive vaccination based on eligibility criteria. Since the vaccine is not a live virus, there is no reason to delay pregnancy attempts because of vaccination administration or to defer treatment until the second dose has been administered.”
Covid-19 effect on pregnant people
As evident by the current global health crisis, the coronavirus poses a threat to all people. However, even though the actual risk of severe illness and mortality among pregnant factions is very low, it is still higher than that of nonpregnant people from the same age group. Moreover, reports show that pregnant people are more likely to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit while requiring a high level of care in case of infection. This includes relying on the support of a breathing machine. They are also at higher risk for dying in such a situation.
Furthermore, coronavirus infection may increase the risk for premature birth. On the other hand, currently, there are no studies that prove the association between birth defects and COVID-19.
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy
Though the vaccine trials didn’t specifically include pregnant or breastfeeding participants, experts usually assure the safety of related vaccines. Moreover, 18 of the trial participants did get pregnant after receiving the vaccine, so more information will be available during the upcoming months.
Furthermore, it is vital to understand that the mRNA vaccines do not contain any virus particles. Additionally, the human body eliminates mRNA particles contained in the vaccine within hours. Therefore, the probability of these particles reaching or crossing the placenta is very low.
On the other hand, during the trials on pregnant animals, the mRNA vaccines did not cause any effect on fertility or any problems with pregnancy.
Vaccine side effects on pregnancy
The normal side effect of the covid-19 vaccine is usually a high fever. Therefore, experts aren’t expecting any different side effects on pregnant individuals. However, it is essential to treat the fever with the assigned medicine since high fever during pregnancy is a cause of birth defects.
Furthermore, the pregnant patient must follow the healthcare instructions on whether or not said individual should take the vaccine to avoid any allergic reactions.
COVID-19 vaccines and breastfeeding
The world health organization has deemed the mRNA coronavirus vaccine safe for breastfeeding. Though the trials didn’t include any breastfeeding individuals, past vaccine experience and the components of the mRNA vaccines suggest its safety. Furthermore, the mRNA vaccines don’t contain the coronavirus. Thus, the vaccine can’t possibly infect you or your baby with COVID. Moreover, according to past studies, the components of the vaccine do not pose any harm to breastfed infants.
In brief, according to many healthcare institutions, it is safe to get vaccinated while breastfeeding or during pregnancy. However, due to the lack of substantial data, studies, and reports, information on the subject can change rapidly from one day to another. Thus, individuals should keep themselves updated via trustworthy sites on daily basis.
COVID-19 and Your Health. (2020, February 11). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html#:%7E:text=Routine%20testing%20and%20pregnancy,an%20mRNA%20COVID%2D19%20vaccine.Goldfarb, I. T. (2021, January 28). Wondering about COVID-19 vaccines if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding? Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/wondering-about-covid-19-vaccines-if-youre-pregnant-or-breastfeeding-2021010721722Khan, A. (2021, February 15). Is it safe for pregnant women to have a COVID-19 vaccine? Coronavirus Pandemic News | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/2/15/coronavirus-vaccines-pregnancy-breastfeeding-and-fertility