COVID-19 vaccine and fertility

Picture of a syringe and vaccine vial.

This has been a topsy-turvy year with lots of disruption to our normal way of life, but with a covid vaccine now being distributed, there is an end in sight.

Many members have contacted us over the past couple of weeks as information has been circulated that suggests that it is not advisable for those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon, to have the COVID vaccine at this time. This is obviously a scary piece of information to receive and there have been many questions surrounding the safety of the vaccine and the possible impact on someone’s fertility.

We’ve spoken to Professor Stephen Franks, Verity medical advisor, Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine and Consultant Endocrinologist at St Mary’s and Hammersmith Hospitals, London:

‘The current advice is that pregnant women should not be given the vaccine because they do not (yet) have evidence of its safety in pregnant women. That advice probably also applies to those who are thinking of getting pregnant soon.

But then again, there is no evidence that it is harmful either, so women who might have received the vaccine in a trial when they didn’t know they were pregnant will probably be OK.

It’s worth remembering that pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to getting Covid or to having more complications if they do get it.’

In addition, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have updated their Covid-19 guidelines with information about vaccinations and pregnancy:

‘Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding are already routinely and safely offered vaccines in pregnancy, for example, to protect against influenza and whooping cough. Many of these vaccines also protect their babies from infection. However, as with most pharmaceutical products, specific clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women have not yet been carried out. Different vaccines work in different ways, and for some of the COVID-19 vaccines, previous studies on similar vaccines (e.g. the Ebola vaccine) may provide some insight into effects in pregnancy and reassurance about safety.

The full guideline can be found on their website under the section ‘COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding’.

If you are currently trying to conceive, about to start trying or think you may be pregnant then do get in touch with your GP or other medical advisors for specific information and guidance for your circumstance.