There is no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.
In fact, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine all recommend women considering pregnancy get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“During the initial weeks of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there were a lot of questions, concerns and myths about the vaccines,” said Dr. Edward Belongia, an epidemiologist with Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. “The COVID-19 vaccine causing infertility is one myth that continues to cause some women to pause.”
What the science says
Animal and human studies do not support any effect of vaccination on fertility.
Researchers studied fertility in rats for each of the COVID-19 vaccines. The research found that the COVID-19 vaccines did not affect fertility in the rats. The research also found that the COVID-19 vaccines did not cause any issues with the development of the babies while in the womb.
The V-safe smartphone application is also collecting data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. This includes data on women before and during pregnancy. V-safe has already shown that rates of miscarriage, stillbirth, gestational diabetes and many other pregnancy health concerns are lower among those that provide information to the V-safe app compared to rates nationally.
“Researchers continue to be confident that the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause infertility,” Dr. Belongia said.
Where the myth comes from
A letter by two anti-vaccination bloggers fueled the rumors about infertility. This letter falsely claimed that Pfizer’s vaccine triggers an immune response against a protein called syncyntin-1.
Syncyntin-1 plays a crucial role in the development of the placenta. Destroying this protein would cause infertility or miscarriage.
The COVID-19 vaccines provide the genetic code for the spike protein created by the cells that help stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, these spike proteins are very different from syncytin-1. The COVID-19 vaccines will not cause the immune system to react against the placenta.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and their effect on fertility and pregnancy, talk to your OB/GYN provider.