SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine can affect a woman’s fertility or menstrual cycles are circulating online.
Experts say there is no evidence to suggest those claims are true.
“There’s no reason to delay vaccination if you’re considering pregnancy in the future,” said Dr. Stephanie Tootle, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Memorial Health.
Tootle says she tells all of her patients that getting vaccinated is a personal choice, but if you’re pregnant, it’s probably a good idea.
“We create it with the purpose of helping, not hurting,” said Tootle. “We know the risks of the COVID virus are severe and they can be more severe in pregnant women.”
In Pfizer’s vaccine trials, women were advised to not get pregnant, yet some of them did. Experts say those women were studied, and there wasn’t a single report of pregnancy loss in anyone who received the real vaccine over the placebo.
“We recommend that a woman who is pregnant consult with her OBGYN prior to being vaccinated, but pregnancy is not a contraindication to vaccination,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health District.
When it comes to menstruation, some women have reported missed periods or heavy bleeding after vaccination.
Tootle says, as of now, those reports have all been anecdotal.
“There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine should affect menstrual cycles,” she said.
Tootle says there a number of factors that may interrupt a menstrual cycle such as stress, illness, and, yes, your body’s immune response to a vaccine.
“That response is your body’s immune system creating antibodies to fight off the vaccine,” explained Tootle. “The vaccine is foreign to your body.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pregnant women sign up for the v-safe registry. The idea is to track and gather data on the health of women after their shot.
V-safe is the CDC’s smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after vaccination.
Tootle also recommends the registry to her patients.