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Mythbusting: "Does COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?"

couple with pregnancy test
 

No, the COVID-19 vaccines will not affect your fertility.

 

The confusion around this myth is due to the misunderstanding of two different types of spike proteins; one that’s related to pregnancy and the other that’s related to COVID-19. These two spike proteins are not related and do not affect each other in any way.

 

Spike Proteins

 

Spike proteins are called spike proteins because, well, they look like spikes. If you’ve ever seen a picture of the COVID-19 virus, the rods sticking out from the main body are the spike proteins. They are what allow COVID-19 to enter cells and spread further. When you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, it “teaches” your body’s immune system to fight off the virus with this specific spike protein on it. If your body can identify and stop these specific spike proteins, it can stop the spread of the virus in your body.

 

The spike protein that’s related to fertility is called syncitin-1, and it is completely different and distinct from the spike protein related to COVID-19. Syncitin-1 is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot identify or harm syncitin-1 spike proteins and in no way do the vaccines cause your immune system to fight off  syncitin-1 spike proteins.

The COVID-19 vaccines will not affect the fertility of women who are trying to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods. 

 

While COVID-19 vaccines do not harm fertility, getting sick with COVID-19 can have an impact on a pregnancy and the mother’s health. So we recommend you get vaccinated if you are not yet pregnant. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we recommend discussing the vaccine with your doctor to determine if getting vaccinated is right for you.


To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.