Woman with pregnancy test after COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 vaccine and fertility

Medically reviewed on February 20, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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When you’re pregnant, you make sure to take extra care of yourself. You monitor everything you put in your body to prioritize your future child’s wellness. The same is true if you’re trying to get pregnant. You don’t want to do anything that may jeopardize your chances of conceiving.

When trying to conceive, you should concern yourself with improving your diet, getting better sleep, and avoiding alcohol.

One thing you don’t need to worry about is the COVID-19 vaccine harming your pregnancy or your ability to become pregnant [1]. This is because there’s no known connection between the vaccine and fertility. In this guide, we’ll discuss why getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a safe choice for those trying to start a family and how a fertility test can help as well.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?

Put simply, no—receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect your fertility [2]. The official guidance of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states:

  • The mRNA vaccines are effective
  • mRNA COVID vaccines don’t alter the DNA and thus don’t cause infertility
  • No studies have demonstrated reduced fertility post-vaccination

The claims of the COVID-19 vaccine causing infertility are unfounded and incorrect.

Does contracting COVID-19 affect fertility?

While the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine impacts fertility is completely unfounded, there is evidence that having COVID can negatively affect fertility in those assigned male at birth. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that getting infected with COVID might temporarily reduce male fertility because [3]:

  • A high fever can reduce sperm count
  • Inflammation in the testes can occur with COVID
  • COVID-19 infection can temporarily result in erectile dysfunction

These effects have lasted for up to 60 days after COVID infection in some patients.

Can pregnant people get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, the ACOG strongly recommends that a pregnant person gets vaccinated against COVID-19 [4]. The virus impacts immunocompromised individuals more severely, and, according to the CDC, pregnant people fall into this category [5].

The CDC has observed that pregnancy can lead to an increased risk for severe illness if you’re infected with COVID-19. Some of the serious issues pregnant people face more frequently after contracting the virus include:

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

It’s also more likely that pregnant people with COVID infection are admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator than non-pregnant people.

Other ACOG recommendations for pregnant people regarding COVID-19 vaccination include:

  • Timing – Vaccination can occur during any trimester of pregnancy. It’s uncertain whether the antibodies you receive will transfer to your fetus, but the vaccine will help protect you from serious illness.
  • Booster shots – Those who have received the initial vaccine or vaccines should also get their booster shot as appropriate. Those who had the J&J vaccine for the first round should receive a booster two months following the initial vaccine. Those who received an mRNA vaccine should get a booster dose 5 months after their second shot.

In most patients, the COVID-19 vaccine has significantly lowered the likelihood of infection and serious disease when an infection does occur.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Most people who receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines experience mild side effects [6]. The most commonly experienced include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Nausea or vomiting

These side effects typically last for 24–48 hours post-vaccine. Very few people experienced an anaphylactic (allergic) reaction to the vaccine. It’s estimated that approximately 5 people per million experienced anaphylaxis after the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Approximately 7.6 per million had this reaction to the J&J/Janssen vaccine [7].

Are there any other COVID-19 guidelines pregnant people need to know?

The key to a safe pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic is to protect yourself from infection. The best way to do so is to receive the vaccine and a booster if appropriate.

The ACOG also recommends pregnant people do the following [8]:

  • Wear a protective mask when around others
  • Continue to wash your hands frequently
  • Encourage others in your household to get vaccinated against COVID
  • Keep all of your prenatal healthcare appointments
  • Avoid large crowds
  • Contact your healthcare professional immediately if you believe you’re infected

By getting the COVID-19 vaccine and an appropriate booster shot and following these guidelines, you’ll give yourself and your baby the best possible protection against the virus.

Prepare for pregnancy with Everlywell

If you’re planning on becoming pregnant, the CDC and the ACOG strongly recommend getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can help keep you safe from serious infection.

While the COVID-19 vaccine won’t impact your ability to conceive, your hormones can. In fact, if your hormones aren’t balanced for normal ovarian function, you might have trouble getting pregnant.

With the Everlywell Women’s Fertility Test, you can get insight into key hormone levels to help you better understand your fertility.

Check out our line of physician-reviewed, at-home tests with Everlywell today to learn more.

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1. NIH. COVID-19 Vaccination Does Not Reduce Chances of Conception, Study Suggests. URL. Accessed February 20, 2022.

2. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Obstetric-Gynecologic Care. URL. Accessed February 20, 2022.

3. PubMed. COVID-19 Vaccines: Comparison of Biological, Pharmaceutical Characteristics and Adverse Effects. URL. Accessed February 20, 2022.

4. CDC. Characteristics of Women of Reproductive Age with Laboratory Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection. URL. Accessed February 20, 2022.

5. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding. URL. Accessed February 20, 2022.

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