Local Physicians Explain Why COVID-19 Vaccine Shouldn’t Affect Fertility

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DES, MOINES, Iowa– There are Iowans hoping to expand their family but are nervous that the vaccine will affect their chances of getting pregnant.

Obstetrician Gynecologist at Broadlawns Medical Center, Dr. Amy Bingaman, said she is encouraging her patients to get the vaccine and explaining that the vaccine should not impact a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. 

“There has been no data to show that that vaccine is associated with infertility. So I would tell my patients that I have no concern for their pregnancies, for their ability to conceive and get pregnant with the vaccine,” Dr. Bingaman said. 

Dr. Bingaman said on average it takes a woman a full year of trying to conceive before doctors begin looking for infertility problems. Since the vaccine hasn’t been offered for a full year, there’s no way to link infertility to the shot. 

Broadlawns and UnityPoint Health both have been following developments from the CDC and the American College of OB/GYN.  

According to the CDC, vaccine manufacturers are monitoring data from people in the clinical trials who received vaccines and already have become pregnant.  The CDC also said studies in animals receiving a Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine before or during pregnancy found no safety concerns.

“It’s a mRNA vaccine it’s a protein vaccine and so there’s nothing about the makeup of the vaccine that would be harmful to a pregnancy or a fetus, it’s not a live virus. There’s nothing biologically about it that makes us anxious in regards to crossing the placenta and causing harm to a baby in any way shape or form,” Dr. Erin Lehman, Obstetrician Gynecologist at UnityPoint Health explained. 

In fact, Dr. Lehman said research shows antibodies are being transferred through breast milk from women who’ve gotten the vaccine while pregnant. 

“Vaccines in general are not a new thing. We actually give several vaccines with pregnancy. And you know, at some point in time, those were newer vaccines as well,” Dr. Lehman said. “The idea behind that is if you build up your immunity antibodies can cross the placenta and if antibodies cross the placenta that will actually provide some passive immunity to your unborn baby when they’re born.” 

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