A common question I’m asked about the COVID-19 vaccine is “how does it affect my fertility” or “will it affect my reproductive health”? Rumours or misinformation about vaccines and the possible impacts it has on fertility or reproductive health, make it hard for people to make an informed decision. It’s important to consider the facts about the risks of the COVID-19 infection versus the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Many people in Canada who are pregnant have gotten very sick from the more serious delta variant requiring hospitalization and critical care. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant it is important to receive the COVID-19 vaccine right away to get the best protection possible. Getting vaccinated while pregnant is safe and an important way to be protect yourself and your baby.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommends that all individuals who are pregnant or those trying to become pregnant should receive the COVID19 vaccination; there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility.
The facts about the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Health Canada and other countries around the world are collecting and monitoring reports of reactions to the vaccine and to date there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine is linked to infertility, changes to the reproductive system or menstrual irregularities.
- Billions of people worldwide have received the vaccine with no fertility or menstrual concerns identified.
- Research shows that there is no impact on sperm and there is no impact on female fertility following COVID-19 vaccination.
- The vaccines activate the immune system and do not impact the reproductive organs.
- Claims about infertility and the COVId-19 vaccines are based on misinformation.
How the vaccine works:
- COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system to make antibodies that protect us from the COVID-19 virus.
- These antibodies prevent us from getting, spreading, and becoming severely sick with COVID-19. None of the vaccines contain the COVID-19 virus and cannot give us the virus.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are given in Ontario. They are called ‘messenger RNA’ or ‘mRNA’ vaccines. They use mRNA to give our cells instructions to make antibodies. The mRNA does not change our DNA.
- mRNA vaccines use technology that has been around for over 10 years.
- It takes at least two weeks after getting a vaccine dose to be protected. Two doses are required for full protection.
If you have questions about getting vaccinated, speak to your healthcare provider.
For more information:
- COVID-19 Vaccinations while Pregnant
- COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations for Special Populations
- Vaccination in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Patient Decision-Making Tool