There have been unfounded rumours circulating on social media that the COVID-19 vaccine could affect fertility and here at Flinders Fertility, we've seen an increase in the number of young people asking about freezing sperm and eggs. While we absolutely support people empowering themselves and making decisions on their reproductive health, there is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of ANY vaccine.
The theory that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility is based on the disproven idea that one of the spike proteins in COVID-19 and the Syncytin-1 protein (which help placenta development) are the same. They are not. The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by encouraging our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. Further, studies have consistently shown there is no incremental risk with either of the mRNA vaccines - Pfizer Comirnaty and Moderna Spikevax - which are prescribed for those in the reproductive years' age group. This article, written by an immunologist explains how vaccines work and why the Syncytin-1 protein theory is disproven.
For men, there’s no evidence either that there is any long-term effect on fertility. If you get a fever after your vaccine you may experience a slight drop in sperm count which is a normal, temporary immune response. This article explains why this happens.
Egg freezing (and sperm freezing for that matter) is a brilliant thing to do if you are not ready to have a baby as you are most fertile in your 20s and early 30s. But it’s an unnecessary procedure if it’s purely that you are worried about your fertility after the COVID vaccine.
Please continue to check our Facebook page and this website for updated information and RANZCOG advice on COVID-19 vaccines during fertility treatments.