“There is absolutely no evidence that vaccines, and in particular the COVID-19 vaccines, impact fertility,” said Dr. Jill Rabin, an OB-GYN and professor at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York. Rabin recommends the COVID-19 vaccines to patients who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant in the future, and breastfeeding. The mRNA coronavirus vaccines teach our cells to make a protein or part of a protein that then triggers an immune response. It’s that immune response that produces antibodies and protects us from viral infection. That genetic material is discarded once our immune system has been activated. According to Metz, mRNA is not stable. It doesn’t replicate or reproduce and is quickly degraded by the body. “Once our muscle cells make the spike protein, the instruction manual is ‘thrown away’ or degraded. It does not stay around and more importantly, does not enter the special place in our cells where our DNA resides,” Mayorga said.
Physicians and healthcare professionals are on a mission to share real and vetted scientific information with patients and assure them there’s no evidence the vaccines can lead to a loss of fertility, said Rabin. COVID-19 can be a life-threatening disease with serious short and long-term health consequences. The reactions and side effects caused by the vaccines, however, are manageable. “My advice for teens and parents concerned that the vaccine could impact fertility administration is to reassure them that the science does not show this,” Rabin said. Mayorga said he’s made himself available to address these types of myths and answer his patient’s questions about the vaccines. Mayorga has shared videos and drawn images of what happens in the body after being vaccinated. He also hosted a seminar for teens interested in the COVID-19 vaccines. During the talk, he answered their questions, explained how the mRNA vaccines work and spoke on the benefits of vaccination. “As I reflect back on this talk, I realized that as physicians, we need to continue to approach each patient differently and try different tactics to help educate, empower, and debunk the myths circulating,” Mayorga said. If you have any concerns about the vaccines, talk with your doctor. They’ll be able to explain how the vaccines work and how there’s no link between the shot and infertility.
The bottom line
Misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and their ability to impact fertility has been around since vaccine rollout. Despite these misconceptions, scientists continue to assure people that there’s no link between COVID-19 vaccines and infertility.
To combat concerns, healthcare professionals are trying to teach people how vaccines work and are hosting seminars to address some of the more common myths and misconceptions about the shots.