21 Dec COVID-19 Vaccination: Fertility and Menstruation
Anecdotal reports suggest there may be temporary menstrual changes after COVID-19 vaccinations. However, there has been no high-quality evidence or controlled scientific studies to support this claim.
Scientific data indicates that other vaccinations do not impact on monthly menstruation cycle timing, duration, or flow. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated women may have a few irregularly timed menstrual periods throughout the year. Environmental stressors such as depression, anxiety and stress during the pandemic may temporarily change cycles. It is estimated that more than a third of regularly menstruating women developed irregular cycles during the pandemic.
COVID-19 Vaccination and Menstrual Changes
ICHD recently awarded five institutions one-year supplemental grants totaling nearly $2 million to explore prospective links between COVID-19 vaccination and menstrual changes. Researchers at Boston University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Oregon Health and Science University will explore whether menstrual changes may be linked to the COVID-19 vaccine itself or if they are spontaneous changes unrelated to the vaccine. The mechanism underlying any vaccine-related changes, and how long any fluctuations last will be examined.
Several studies will use blood, tissue, and saliva samples collected before and after vaccination to examine any immune or hormone changes. Other studies will use proven resources such as large cohort studies and menstrual cycle tracking apps to collect and analyze data from racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse populations. Two studies will focus on specific populations, including adolescents and women with endometriosis.
The Vaccine Does Not Affect Fertility
The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility or cause miscarriage. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO) states, “There is absolutely no scientific evidence or truth behind this concern that vaccines somehow interfere with fertility, either in men or in women, because what vaccines do is they stimulate an immune response against that particular protein or antigen of that virus or bacteria. There is no way in which they could interfere with the functioning of the reproductive organs in either men or women.”
Professional organizations serving individuals of reproductive age, including adolescents — stress that there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes a loss of fertility. These organizations also recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people who may consider getting pregnant in the future.
According to the CDC, if you are trying to become pregnant or currently pregnant, you should be vaccinated against COVID-19. To learn more about this topic and speak to one of our physicians about this topic, you can request a consultation here.