Well-Being Prevention & Cures

New study says COVID-19 vaccines do not impact fertility, but positive infection might

Story at a glance

  • A new study found that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine does not impact a person’s chances of conceiving a child.
  • Researchers studied more than 2,000 couples, analyzing if they were vaccinated, which vaccine they received, how many doses they received and more.
  • The study’s results disprove myths about COVID-19 vaccines causing infertility.

A new study indicates that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine does not affect the chances of conceiving a child for women or men, shutting down myths circulating throughout the pandemic that vaccinations can impact a person’s fertility. 

Researchers at Boston University conducted a study of more than 2,000 couples and found no difference in fertility if either the male or female partner had been vaccinated when compared to unvaccinated couples. However, the chance of conception did drop slightly if the male partner had contracted COVID-19 within 60 days before the woman’s menstrual cycle. 

The findings suggest that the coronavirus does temporarily impact male fertility, a result that could be potentially avoided by getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Researchers said fever, which is known to reduce sperm count, is a common symptom of COVID-19 infection and could explain the temporary decline observed in male participants’ sperm count who had tested positive for the virus while trying to conceive. Other reasons could be inflammation in the testes and nearby tissue, as well as erectile dysfunction, with researchers noting both are common after a COVID-19 infection.  


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“Many reproductive-aged individuals have cited concerns about fertility as a reason for remaining unvaccinated. Our study shows for the first time that COVID-19 vaccination in either partner is unrelated to fertility among couples trying to conceive through intercourse,” Amelia Wesselink, research assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. 

Researchers looked at a multitude of factors that could potentially influence a couple’s fertility, such as whether partners received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the type of vaccine they received, how recently were they vaccinated and if they had a history of infertility. 

The results suggest that COVID-19 vaccines have no harmful association with fertility and help avert the risks the virus poses to maternal and fetal health. 

“The findings provide reassurance that vaccination for couples seeking pregnancy does not appear to impair fertility. They also provide information for physicians who counsel patients hoping to conceive,” Diana Bianchi, director of the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said in a statement. 

As recently as this week, the myth of COVID-19 vaccines causing infertility was suggested by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who said many nurses do not want to get vaccinated because “they’re trying to have families.” 


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