With the implementations of the COVID-19 vaccine, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), together with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and other professional OB/GYN organizations have issued a joint statement in support of public health measures to combat COVID-19, and encourage accurate information regarding COVID-19 and fertility.
Among their key recommendations is that the vaccine should not be withheld from patients who are planning to conceive, who are currently pregnant, or who are breastfeeding. Patients who are undergoing fertility treatment are strongly encouraged to receive vaccination based on current eligibility criteria.
Their report also states that virus mitigation strategies, such as universal masking, physical distancing, and reducing social interactions must be followed even though some people now have access to a vaccine.
In addition, the statement addresses head-on a piece of misinformation that has been circulated by antivaccine ideologues and states that the mRNA vaccines “are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second-trimester loss, stillbirth, or congenital anomalies.”
Vaccinating Individuals Who are Actively Trying to Get Pregnant, Pregnant, and Lactating Women
- Vaccination is strongly encouraged for non-pregnant individuals within the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) prioritization group(s).
- ACOG recommends vaccination of individuals who are actively trying to become pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy and meet the criteria for vaccination based on ACIP prioritization recommendations.
- It is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- If an individual becomes pregnant after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine series, the second dose should be administered as indicated.
- If an individual receives a COVID-19 vaccine and becomes pregnant within 30 days of receipt of the vaccine, participation in CDC’s V-SAFE program (after vaccination health check program) is encouraged.
- Routine pregnancy testing is not recommended prior to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Male Fertility and Vaccine
For men, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology (SMRU) and the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) recommend that:
- The COVID-19 vaccine should not be withheld from men desiring fertility who meet the criteria for vaccination.
- COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to men desiring fertility, similar to men not desiring fertility, when they meet the criteria for vaccination.
It should be noted that about 16% of men in the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial
experienced fever after the second dose. Fevers can cause temporary declines in sperm production. Thus, if a man experiences fever as the result of the COVID-19 vaccine, he may experience a temporary decline in sperm production, but that would be similar to or less than if the individual experienced fever for other reasons.
- CDC’s V-SAFE After Vaccination Health Check program
- Joint Statement by SMRU and SSMR Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine in Men Desiring Fertility, January 9, 2021
- ACOG recommendation regarding pregnant and lactating women, December 21, 2020
- ASRM recommendation, December 16, 2020
- Joint statement by ASRM, ACOG, and more in support of public measures to combat COVID-19, December 16, 2020
- The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s recommendation, December 1, 2020