As the days of the pandemic go on, a very common question which is currently being asked by many women aged 18-44 is whether the COVID-19 vaccine prevents pregnancy. Misinformation on social media and online blogs has put a lot of doubt and anxiety into the minds of women of reproductive age who are looking and falling pregnant.
According to a recent article at the ABC, vaccine hesitancy and increased over the past two weeks and a lack of trust in the vaccines regarding their safety and effectiveness has been sited as the main reasons. One of the main causes for concern in women of reproductive age is if the vaccine has the potential to impact their fertility.
Obviously, we are learning more about the virus each day, and one of the top priorities was to develop and effective vaccine to help protect us from the effects the virus.
One piece of misinformation which continues to circulate is the suggestion that the COVID-19 vaccine could trigger antibodies that could attack the reproductive system, a claim that was debunked by the scientific community.
As we remain in lockdown and have limitless access to the internet, it comes as no surprise that many people may be falling down the misinformation rabbit hole and many of these false claims continue to circulate on social media platforms.
For peace of mind, the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists issued a statement in January which addressed this misinformation, stating that there was no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility and that the claims are merely speculative and not supported by data.
Since this statement, scientists have continued to find no link between any menstrual changes and long term fertility and the vaccines, and there was no increased risk of miscarriages or placental abnormalities in women who received the Pfizer vaccine.
The effects of the COVID-19 virus, however, can have serious consequences in a healthy pregnancy.
While most people fortunately experience only mild symptoms if they contract the virus, pregnant women have a much higher risk of developing serious complications and being admitted to hospital, in extreme cases, some need ventilation. There is an increased risk of having a premature birth if you become unwell with COVID-19, although fortunately at this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus increases the likelihood of miscarriage or birth defects.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your unborn baby from the COVID-19 virus is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Professional medical advice from Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has advised that pregnant women should be offered Pfizer at any stage in their pregnancy. The potential long-term effects of the COVID-19 virus are much more severe than the misinformation circulating about the vaccines.
As a team who dedicate our work to looking after our patients and helping them achieve their dream of creating a family, we want to reiterate the importance of getting your vaccination, whether you’re currently pregnant or wanting to fall pregnant. The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients is our top priority.
Please stay safe and stay well.