COVID Vaccines Not Linked to Male Infertility

COVID Vaccines Not Linked to Male Infertility

A recent study has given insight on whether the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are harmful for male fertility.

Myths about vaccines have existed since their inception; most concerns are quickly discredited by science and medical professionals. Experts state the importance of addressing vaccine hesitancy for male patients.

“Misinformation around COVID-19 vaccines needs to be dispelled, as this can become a major reason for people refusing to get vaccinated. Studies like this help address myths around COVID-19 vaccines being harmful, in this case to male fertility. We need to use science to counter incorrect information, as well as ensure that we communicate facts through all available platforms,” stated Dr Anant Bhan, Researcher from Global Health, Bioethics and Health Policy.

The Study: COVID-19 Vaccines and Male Infertility

The study, which appeared in JAMA — involved 45 vaccinated men — with zero showing signs of lower sperm counts after getting their shots.

  • Males vaccinated with the Moderna (53%) and Pfizer-BioNTech (47%) mRNA vaccines.
  • Baseline sperm concentration and TMSC (total mobile sperm count) were 26 million/mL and 36 million, respectively.
  • After the second vaccine dose, the median sperm concentration significantly increased to 30 million/mL and the median TMSC to 44 million.

“It’s still possible that men who experience post-vaccination side effects may suffer from lower sperm counts for a few weeks, just as they might after a viral infection. But there is no reason to worry about significant adverse impacts on male fertility,” stated study co-author Ranjith Ramasamy, MD, of the University of Miami Health System. “People should not be concerned. The vaccines are very safe.”

The study found there was no significant decline in the men’s sperm counts nearly 70 days after the final vaccine shot. In fact, some sperm counts increased — although it’s not known if the vaccines caused the increase.

According to the researchers, “the limitations of the study include the small number of men enrolled; limited generalizability beyond young, healthy men; short follow-up; and lack of a control group. In addition, while semen analysis is the foundation of male fertility evaluation, it is an imperfect predictor of fertility potential.”

Breaking Down the Vaccine

Researchers have broken down the ingredients of the vaccines — indicating the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have a quite simple formulation. The vaccines contain:

  • RNA, which is the template for our cells to manufacture the spike protein of COVID-19, aka the piece of the virus that our immune system recognizes and responds to.
  • Lipids to help transport and stabilize the RNA.
  • Buffers to normalize the pH and make it compatible with the pH of our bodies.
  • Sugar as a cryoprotectant since the vaccine dosages are stored in freezer conditions.

The vaccine ingredients are effectively harmless —and should not deter males from getting the vaccine.

It’s also important to note that any time a male’s body temperature is elevated to “fever” like levels, the sperm count can momentarily decrease. Once the body then comes back down to normal body temperatures the sperm count levels out again.  With the Covid vaccine, one may or may not experience a slight fever, leading to the fears related to fertility. The decrease in sperm count is from the temporary fever, not the vaccine itself. Once the fever is gone, the sperm count is back up.

If you have any questions about male infertility, please contact us directly at Fertility Specialists Medical Group at 858-505-5500 or click here.

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