May 26

Does the COVID Vaccine Cause Infertility?

We know that it can be difficult to sift through all the information and what is fact and what is fiction. That’s why we’re debunking some of these fertility myths on the blog today.

Myth 1: Covid Vaccines Cause Miscarriage

In clinical trials there was no increase in spontaneous miscarriage compared to the control groups (unvaccinated) and the vaccinated participants. Based on the most current research there is no reason to believe the covid vaccinations increase risk for miscarriage (Male, 2021).

Myth 2: Covid Vaccines Havent Been Testing on Pregnant People or Those Trying to Conceive

While it’s true that in early clinical trials pregnant people and those trying to conceive are excluded for safety – however, when clinical trials progress to later stages and require large sample sizes, there are often people who accidentally become pregnant during the trial. In a study performed with 39 845 participants, there was 57 accidental pregnancies. The control group (unvaccinated) saw 28 pregnancies and the vaccinated group saw 29 pregnancies. Given that there are no differences between accidental pregnancies across the groups – we know the chances of pregnancy are equal regardless of vaccination status (Male, 2021).

Similarly, two additional studies on men have concluded that the COVID MRNA vaccines have had no influence on sperm parameters including concentration, volume, motility, and total number (Male, 2021; Fei et al., 2021) Another study looked at couples undergoing IVF and the number of eggs retrieved did not differ from the unvaccinated to the vaccinated group either (Male, 2021; Fei et al., 2021).

Overall, these primary findings unanimously indicated that vaccination does not detrimentally impact the female or reproductive system.

Myth 3: MRNA vaccines haven’t been tested long enough to know if it causes infertility.

While MRNA vaccination technology is new in comparison to its counterparts, MRNA vaccinations have been studied since 2006 in human trials for many viruses such as influenza, Zika, Ebola and rabies! There is no evidence suggesting long term fertility concerns arising from the use of MRNA vaccines in the 15 years it has been studied (Pardi, 2018).

Myth 4: MRNA vaccines change your DNA and could cause infertility

To impact DNA, a substance must enter the nucleus – which controls the cell – where DNA is stored).  mRNA does not enter the nucleus (nor can it) – and therefore has no impact on DNA.

mRNA is much like a template for producing proteins to teach the body’s immune system how to fight the COVID 19 virus.

In keeping with this evidence, the Canadian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology has also released statements informing the public that “there is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason to suspect that the COVID19 vaccine could impair male or female fertility. These rumours are unfounded and harmful.”

References:

  1. Fei Chen, Shiheng Zhu, Zhiqing Dai, Lanting Hao, Chun Luan, Qi Guo, Chaofan Meng, Yankun Zhang, Effects of COVID-19 and mRNA vaccines on human fertility, Human Reproduction, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2022, Pages 5–13, https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deab238

  2. Male, V. Are COVID-19 vaccines safe in pregnancy?. Nat Rev Immunol 21, 200–201 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-021-00525-y

  3. Pardi, N., Hogan, M., Porter, F. et al. mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology. Nat Rev Drug Discov 17, 261–279 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrd.2017.243


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