There’s so much information (and misinformation) surrounding Covid-19, the vaccines and boosters and the average person is easily confused. For people considering or already undergoing, treatment for infertility, who obtained the vaccine but not the booster shot, avoiding the booster shot may seem prudent right now. Of course it is ultimately up to you to decide. But we cannot emphasize this strongly enough, for your safety and the safety of your unborn child get the booster!
The Risks of Not Being Fully Vaccinated
For those undergoing treatment for infertility, such as IVF, nothing matters more than having a baby. And when the day arrives that you are pregnant nothing matters more than keeping your baby safe and developing as they should. Unfortunately, all the healthy food and ultimate self-care in the world won’t protect you from the deadly Covid-19 virus.
Should you develop the virus or come in contact with a Covid infected person while you undergo IVF your doctor will halt all treatment until you are healthy or test negative for Covid-19. Fully vaccinated people (including the booster) are much less likely to develop Covid-19 even if exposed.
Pregnancy puts you at a much higher risk for the virus because your immune system is already working overtime to support your developing baby’s health. Pregnant women who remain unvaccinated are at three times greater risk for hospitalization, intensive care and intubation. Unvaccinated pregnant women have a much higher incidence of preterm labor, birth defects and stillbirth than their fully vaccinated peers.
Covid-19 Impacts Male Fertility As Well
In order for IVF to succeed you must have a healthy egg and healthy sperm. Results from several studies show the virus has a very adverse impact on male fertility. In one study 19% of men with Covid-19 had severe scrotal inflammation which hampers sperm production. Another study concurred 39% of the men who previously fathered a child suffered from low sperm counts post-Covid.
Covid-related hormone changes in men resulted in production of sperm deemed unviable, low motility (poor swimmers) in viable sperm and erectile dysfunction. The more serious the infection the more desperate the impact on male fertility.
It’s Safe to Get the Covid Booster
One of the biggest myths to come from the misinformation monger is that the vaccine causes infertility. None of the vaccines-Pfizer, Moderna or J&J- show any effect on fertility. To believe the vaccine causes infertility or pregnancy complications is simply wrong and quite dangerous. Especially if that mis-assumption prevents you or someone you love from obtaining the full vaccination.
Furthermore, there is zero evidence that the Covid-19 booster disrupts fertility treatment, including IVF. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) strongly encourages you to get the Covid-19 booster shot even while undergoing IVF or other types of fertility treatment.
Unlike the virus itself, there is no evidence linking the Covid-19 vaccines or booster shot to miscarriage, stillbirth or infertility. In fact the vaccine and booster shot offer protection from the virus that is lifesaving.
Long Covid is now a condition which affects those who’ve had the virus and no one really understands the implications other than there are debilitating symptoms and side effects that could plague an individual for months and even years. The NIH is currently conducting a study to determine the effects of long Covid on those who were pregnant when they contracted the virus and the impact on their babies.
Get the Booster and Protect Yourself, Your Fertility and Your Future Family
When you are fully vaccinated, including your booster shot, you have the best protection against Covid-19. Even if you contract a breakthrough virus you are far less likely to become sick and even less likely to require hospitalization or the dire effects associated with non-vaccinated pregnant people.
The bottom line? For the unvaccinated Covid-19 is life-threatening, long-lasting and causes extreme stress to your entire body, including your reproductive system. Take every precaution available including the vaccines and booster shots. Stay dialed in to the latest science, ignore the misinformation mongers and most of all reach out to your doctor.
No one knows what tomorrow will bring but having a dedicated team who support your desire to overcome infertility means a lot. At LA IVF we encourage your questions and do everything to allay your fears and concerns. Please contact LA IVF for the latest information regarding Covid-19 or any other concerns you may have.