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Covid-19 Vaccination, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Fertility

by in Blog 09/20/2021

There is a lot of false online information about how Covid-19 vaccination may affect fertility and the foetus, including the idea that women who are pregnant, who breastfeed, or who wish to remain pregnant should not get vaccinated. Scientific evidence shows the opposite to be true and doctors RECOMMEND vaccination.

I am pregnant. Should I get vaccinated?
Some pregnant women who suffered from COVID-19 experienced more severe illness than women who were not pregnant. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with certain conditions such as obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, asthma, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or who are older than 35 and in the third trimester of pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19. Suffering from COVID-19 during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of preterm (premature) delivery and intrauterine foetal death.
Anti-COVID-19 vaccines do not harm foetuses. Recent data shows that pregnant women who received the RNA messenger type of anti-COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech), especially in the third trimester of pregnancy, successfully passed on antibodies to their foetuses. Therefore, the vaccination of the pregnant woman protects the newborn. The antibodies produced by the mother reach the foetus through the placenta and, after birth, are fed to the baby via the mother’s breast milk.

Should I get vaccinated against COVID-19 if I am currently breastfeeding?
YES, because several studies reported high concentrations of protective antibodies produced by the mother’s body in her breast milk.

  1. I heard or read that the COVID-19 vaccine may reduce fertility. Is it true?

The specialists members of the Romanian Society of Obstetrics-Gynaecology recommend women who wish to bear children not to postpone getting pregnant after vaccination. Also, women who become pregnant after vaccination are recommended not to avoid getting the booster. There is no evidence to suggest that anti-COVID-19 vaccines have any effects on fertility or the chances of getting pregnant.

Also, in the case of men, vaccination does not alter the number or quality of spermatozoa. The opposite is true: the infection with SARS-CoV-2 can diminish the quality of the semen. Studies conducted up to now have shown below normal numbers of spermatozoa in 25% of participants after COVID-19.

For patients who choose in vitro fertilisation, for instance, vaccination against COVID-19 does not impair their ovarian function, quality of oocytes, fertilisation or the pregnancy success rate.
Women who became pregnant after vaccination were closely monitored and their pregnancy developed normally.

What can I expect to happen immediately after vaccination?
The side effects of vaccination vary from one person to another. So far, pregnant women have not reported different side effects compared to women who were not pregnant at the time of getting the vaccine. As with all medication, anti-COVID-19 vaccines can have side effects and, in the case of vaccines that can be administered in more than one dose, most side effects were reported after the second one. The possible adverse reactions include: tenderness around the area of injection, fatigue, headaches, fever and/or chills, muscle ache or allergic reactions. Severe adverse reactions have been extremely rare and mainly consisted in blood clots (thrombosis) after the anti-COVID-19 vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Johnson.


www.sogr.ro – A Message for Pregnant Women from the Romanian Society of Obstetrics-Gynaecology
www.acog.org – Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients
www.cdc.gov – Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
www.gov.uk – COVID-19 Vaccination: A Guide on Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Ana-Maria Crețu, junior doctor, Obstetrics-Gynaecology