COVID-19 Vaccines and Fertility

Blog

31 August 2021

There has been a lot of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and their impact on fertility. We want to reassure our patients that COVID-19 vaccinations do not affect fertility and are safe for people planning a pregnancy and people that are pregnant.

In line with advice from the Australian Department of Health, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Fertility Society of Australia, it is recommended that you get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will not approve a vaccine for use in Australia unless it is safe and effective. This includes impacts on fertility. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved, or under review by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) cause sterilisation or infertility.

We understand that due to supplies of vaccines, there may be a wait time for the Pfizer vaccine. We advise that you do not wait for the Pfizer vaccine, and get vaccinated with whatever COVID-19 vaccine is readily accessible and available to you, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine. Given the seriousness of the Delta variant of COVID-19, vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from illness. Please do not delay getting a vaccine, and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

If you are pregnant, it is vital that you get vaccinated against COVID-19, as pregnant people have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and their babies have a higher risk of being born prematurely. Vaccination is the best way to reduce these risks. You can be vaccinated at any stage during your pregnancy, and pregnant people are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologistsstates that mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) have been shown to be safe in pregnant women, based on accumulated real-world evidence from other countries. COVID-19 vaccination may additionally provide indirect protection to babies by transferring antibodies through the placenta (for pregnant people) or through breastmilk (for people who are breastfeeding).

If you are planning a pregnancy, it is important to note that there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have an impact on fertility.

All patients who decide to get vaccinated should continue to follow the current guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after they are vaccinated. This includes hand hygiene, wearing masks, testing when symptoms are present and isolation, when appropriate.

If you have individual concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to discuss this with your fertility specialist, obstetrician or GP.

To book an appointment with a Monash IVF clinician click here.

Additional Resources

If you would like to read further information about the COVID-19 vaccines, our recommended resources are below:

COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

COVID-19 Vaccine Questions and Answers - ‘Is it true? Do COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?’, Australian Government Department of Health

COVID-19 Vaccination – Shared decision making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy, Australian Government Department of Health

Joint statement between RANZCOG and ATAGI about COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) & Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)

Getting vaccinated – information pack, Australian Government Department of Health

About the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Australian Government Department of Health

About the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Australian Government Department of Health

COVID-19 vaccine: Information for consumers and health professionals, Therapeutic Goods Administration

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