COVID-19 FAQs for Current and Future Fertility Patients
General COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Q: Are the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters safe?
A: Yes. Even though COVID-19 is relatively new, the way these vaccines were developed is not. COVID-19 vaccines are as safe as other vaccines that people receive throughout their lives, such as the flu or measles vaccines.
Q: How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters?
A: Very. As of November 2021, unvaccinated people over age 18 had a 4x higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 and a 15% higher risk of dying from COVID-19. (a)
Q: Why do COVID-19 variants occur?
A: Like life, viruses are constantly adapting to their environment to survive. As a result, the COVID-19 virus is constantly changing in order to spread.
Q: Do COVID-19 vaccines and boosters protect against COVID-19 variants?
A: Yes. As of November 2021, unvaccinated people over 18 had a 4x higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 and a 15% higher risk of dying from COVID-19. Compared to people who are vaccinated and also receive a booster shot, unvaccinated people were 13x more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 68x more likely to die.
Q: Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
A: No. It is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine since the vaccine does not contain live virus. (b)
Q: Will the vaccine affect other medical conditions I already have?
A: No. In fact, people with medical conditions already are at higher risk of having severe problems from COVID-19. As a result, getting the vaccine lowers the overall risk of illness for these people.
Q: I am nervous about the vaccine side effects.
A: Side effects are common with all vaccines. Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines might include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever, but these typically only last about 24 hours and can be helped with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
COVID-19 FAQS RE: Pregnancy
Q: Are the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters recommended for women considering pregnancy or who are pregnant?
A: Yes. COVID-19 vaccination (including boosters) is recommended to minimize risks to women and their pregnancies. (c)
Q: If I am already pregnant, is there a best time or trimester to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster?
A: As soon as possible. ASRM recommends vaccination and getting a booster as soon as you are eligible, no matter the trimester of pregnancy. (d)
Q: If I am pregnant, will potential side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine and/or boosters harm my baby?
A: No. Side effects from the vaccine are usually mild. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is safe to take if a fever develops after vaccination. (e)
Q: Am I more likely to have severe problems from COVID-19 while I am pregnant?
A: Yes. Pregnant women are more likely to have severe COVID-19 illness, and be hospitalized, have complications, be admitted to the ICU, and die. Getting vaccinated lowers these risks. (c)
Q: Do the COVID-19 vaccines cross the placenta?
A: No. The vaccines are broken down soon after they are injected and do not get to the placenta.
Q: If I am pregnant and vaccinated, will my unborn child have some protection from COVID-19 when they are born?
A: Yes. In fact, some research shows that antibody levels were higher in babies who were exposed to vaccination rather than infection in utero (or during pregnancy). (f)
Q: Do the COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects?
A: No. In addition, because being vaccinated and boosted lowers the risk of having severe COVID-19 illness or preterm labor, the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth goes down for women who have the vaccine and booster. (g, h)
Q: What if I am pregnant and my doctor does not recommend that I get vaccinated or boosted?
A: If you are wondering about why your provider has recommended against vaccination, you should ask for more information and seek second opinions.
COVID-19 FAQ RE: Future Fertility
Q: Do the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?
A: No. Research shows that COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility in women or men. Importantly, data has shown that COVID-19 infection may temporarily reduce sperm quality. The impact of the changes to sperm quality on fertility are not yet known. If you are trying to conceive, it is important to get vaccinated. (i, j)
Q: Do the COVID-19 vaccines decrease my chances of getting pregnant?
A: No. Research shows that a similar number of women got pregnant after receiving the vaccine versus a placebo. Many people have gotten pregnant since being vaccinated. (i)
Q: Should I take steps to avoid pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: No. We do not recommend delaying pregnancy during this pandemic, especially if you are over age 35 or have been told you have low ovarian reserve.
Q: Should I delay fertility treatment until I can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: No. ASRM and SART recommend vaccination and booster shot for patients who are planning to get pregnant, who are currently pregnant, or who are breastfeeding.
Q: If I get sick or test positive for COVID-19, how long should I wait to become pregnant?
A: 10 days after symptoms started or 10 days after a positive COVID-19 test.
Q: How long should men wait to try to have a baby after getting sick or testing positive?
A: Waiting isn’t necessary after getting sick or testing positive for men, but it might take longer to cause a pregnancy for the first few months afterward.
- CDC. COVID data tracker. Available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-statushttps://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status, last accessed 1/27/2022.
- CDC. Myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html?s_cid=11356:can%20the%20vaccine%20give%20you%20covid:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21, last accessed 2/8/2022.
- CDC. Pregnant and recently pregnant people. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnant-people.html, last accessed 1/27/2022.
- ASRM. Update #18. Available at https://www.asrm.org/news-and-publications/news-and-research/press-releases-and-bulletins/update-no-18-covid-19-vaccination-booster-shots-and-reproductive-health-care/, last accessed 1/27/2022.
- CDC. Maternal Fever During Early Pregnancy May Be Linked to Birth Defects. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/features/kf-birthdefects-maternal-fever-during-pregnancy.html, last accessed 1/28/2022.
- Gray KJ et al. Coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine response in pregnant and lactating women: a cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2021;225:303.e1-303.e17.
- CDC. MWWR Jan 7, 2022, 71:26-30. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7101e1.htm?s_cid=mm7101e1_w, last accessed 1/27/2022.
- Shimabukuro TT et al CDC v-safe COVID-19 Pregnancy Registry Team. Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons. N Engl J Med 2021; 384:2273-82.
- CDC. COVID-19 vaccines for people who would like to have a baby. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/planning-for-pregnancy.html, last accessed 1/28/2022.
- Donders GGG et al Sperm quality and absence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in semen after COVID-19 infection: a prospective, observational study and validation of the SpermCOVID test. Fertil Steril 2021;S0015-0282:02156-7.