Despite earlier concerns about the vaccine, and proof that Covid 19 vaccines are effective at reducing the risk of contracting the virus, new vaccine hesitancy has suggested that members of the population have concerns about fertility problems being caused by it.
Academics from the Boston University School of Public Health have published their findings into the Covid vaccine and fertility in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The study was conducted on 2000 couples and the vaccine was found to have no effect on fertility in male and female participants.
One interesting finding was that when male participants contracted the virus within 60 days of their partner’s menstrual cycle, couples had a slightly lower chance of conception, indicating that the Covid 19 virus could temporarily affect fertility.
How Do The Covid 19 Vaccines Work?
The objective of having a Covid vaccine is to show your body how to respond to the virus, by encouraging the development of antibodies. This process helps to minimise your chances of developing illness later on.
The current research reveals that there is no evidence to suggest that the presence of Covid antibodies can compromise a pregnancy or the development of a placenta. Specifically, Covid 19 vaccines have not been found to reduce sperm count in men or ovarian reserves in patients who are undergoing IVF treatments.
What Is The TGA’s Position With Regard To Covid Vaccines Safety?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration only approves vaccines that are proven to be safe and effective. It has the responsibility of reviewing the safety and efficacy of Covid 19 vaccines and will not approve them if there is any chance that they could undermine fertility.
Are Covid Vaccines Safe For Use By Pregnant Women?
It is now accepted that pregnant women can receive their Covid 19 vaccines at any stage of their pregnancy. It is advisable to time your Pfizer mRNA vaccine at the best possible point in your pregnancy, and this should be discussed with your medical practitioner.
Having the vaccine offers pregnant women and their partners an additional layer of protection by minimising their risk of passing the virus onto their unborn babies.
Because the vaccines are only available for children over the age of 5, small babies need as much protection as they can get from their parents.
Furthermore, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advocate that couples do not need to delay conception or vaccination because of the other.
The medical community attributes rumours about the vaccines causing fertility problems to the dissemination of misinformation in and by the public. They also claim that false statements have been made about Covid vaccines causing miscarriage and resulting in infertility issues in women of reproductive age.
Who Should Get A Covid Vaccine?
The government recommends that everyone over the age of five years have a free Covid vaccine. The majority of people should receive two doses of the vaccine, with an additional booster administered later on to improve immunity.
Pregnant women fall into the priority groups classified by the local government. The priority groups include
- Healthcare and frontline workers
- People with disabilities
- People working in aged care facilities
- Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders
- People who have underlying health conditions
What to do if you have doubts about the connection between the Covid vaccine and fertility
Rather than discuss your sentiments with friends, it is advisable to consult with your GP or antenatal provider if you are pregnant. The antidote to misinformation is scientifically proven information and a medical practitioner can help you to separate facts from fabrications.
As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable only to take information about the vaccine from credible sources.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting Vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated can help you
- To avoid becoming very ill with Covid or dying an early death
- To protect other people in your community by developing herd immunity. There are some people who cannot have the vaccine for health reasons and they rely on others’ immunity to stay safe
- To avoid complications such as long Covid
- To help the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed with positive cases and not having the resources to manage it
- Do your part for communities to avoid harder lockdowns that are disruptive to schools and businesses
Because many events will need a vaccine passport, getting vaccinated sooner rather than later can ensure you have access to public events and sports activities.
In conclusion, the latest scientific research reveals that there is no association between the Covid vaccine and fertility problems in either men or women. Couples who want to reproduce do not need to delay their vaccinations or conception because of fears of infertility.
If you have concerns about the vaccine or fertility, please contact us to discuss them with a medical practitioner: (02) 9884 9300
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