The Truth About The COVID Vaccine And Fertility

Both the medical community and public are learning about the COVID vaccine as we go. Little is known about the connection between fertility and the immunization — but Dr. Kaylen Silverberg, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder for Texas Fertility Center tells The List, "There is no data at this time that suggests the COVID vaccine can or does impact fertility." But to be fair, he adds, "This specific topic has never been studied" given that the vaccine is so new, as is the illness itself.

For anyone who has family planning on the brain, Dr. Silverberg notes, "We have no information as to whether or not the vaccine may cause infertility down the road." Therefore, it's worth considering what is known about the vaccine before deciding to get it, when it becomes available for you. For instance, as Dr. Silverberg told The List, "From our knowledge of how the vaccine works, there is no obvious mechanism by which the vaccine should be able to affect fertility." Still, he adds, "The truth is that we may not know the answer to this question for many years to come."

Why there are fears about the COVID vaccine affecting fertility

According to Dr. Silverberg, when it comes to any worry about how the vaccine may impact one's ability to get pregnant, "Concern mostly stems from fear stoked by social media." He adds the misinformation could have originated "from social media posts proposing a link between the spike protein of coronavirus and one or more proteins that are critical for binding of the placenta to the uterine lining." To his knowledge, however, he told us, "no such link exists."

Meanwhile, with regards to past vaccines and fertility, Dr. Silverberg told The List, "I am not aware of any vaccine that has impacted fertility." With that said, he points out, "some illnesses that can be prevented by vaccines — measles, for example — can cause debilitating conditions to the fetus."

It's important to point out that, as Dr. Silverberg notes, "We have limited data about coronavirus infections in pregnancy." The truth is, as he told us, "It will be years before we know if infection with the virus during pregnancy can cause either birth defects or developmental delays in affected children, as some developmental delays do not appear until years after birth."

Ultimately, he advises anyone who is concerned to talk to their doctor. "Physicians are well informed and you should consider placing your trust in them rather than in unsubstantiated posts on the internet," he says.