There are a lot of unknowns in today’s world of COVID and dealing with infertility can create more anxiety and fear. It is sometimes hard to know where to get accurate information for anything let alone new scientific data and information. Sometimes the news media can be daunting and it can be easier to believe your friends, friends, brothers, aunt's experience rather than the data. Reading scientific information can be confusing and overwhelming for those of us that are not scientists. One great resource for all things infertility is the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). This is a national organization created to provide research and information to reproductive endocrinologists and those dealing with infertility. ASRM has been providing updated information on COVID and possible issues for those dealing with infertility and nontraditional family building. The following is the most recent update from ASRM.
General COVID Information
• Currently available mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have documented safety and efficacy in large randomized clinical trials, preventing up to 95% of severe disease.
• The known and potential benefits of these vaccines outweigh the known and potential harms of COVID-19 infection.
• Common side effects of vaccination include pain and swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These symptoms may persist for a few days. Side effects may be more significant following the second injection.
• Although COVID-19 variants demonstrate alterations in the spike proteins, early data suggest that mRNA vaccines may be effective against identified variants of COVID-19.
• There is a lag between vaccine administration and protection, a window during which infection can still occur, so mitigation strategies must be followed during this time. Those who have been vaccinated should continue to strictly adhere to mitigation strategies until data are available on the impact of vaccination on preventing asymptomatic and mild infection.
COVID-19 vaccine truths for patients desiring conception or who are pregnant include:
• Available data indicate that COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility in women or men.
• In the randomized blinded Pfizer-BioNTech trial, a similar number of women conceived after receiving the vaccine as those who received the placebo.
• The coronavirus’s spike protein and syncytin-1 (protein that mediates placental cell fusion) share small stretches of the same genetic code but are otherwise completely different in structure. The vaccine does not induce an immune reaction against the syncytin-1 placental protein.
• mRNA vaccines are taken up rapidly by muscle cells at the injection site and the mRNA is degraded in the cell once the protein is made so it does not cross the placenta.
• COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for women who are contemplating pregnancy or who are pregnant in order to minimize risks to themselves and their pregnancy.
UIRC always recommends discussing health issues with your medical care provider before making decisions but we can feel some sense of relief and comfort from this very reliable information from ASRM.
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