COVID-19 vaccine and fertility

General information about having the vaccine in relation to pregnancy and fertility

Logan Van Lessen is a Consultant Midwife and works with us at Whittington Health.
 
Logan has answered some questions around the choices our staff may have in relation to having the COVID-19 vaccine within the context of pregnancy and fertility in general.
 
We will be uploading more resources from our team soon on related topics so please check back here regularly for updates. The questions that have been answered by Logan are also available to view below if you are unable to watch the video.
 
 

An overview of the safety of the vaccine from Logan

"Everyone who is eligible to have the COVID-19 vaccination will have their own personal circumstances which will determine whether having the vaccine is right for them or not.
 
Don’t forget you can always seek advice from Occupational Health if you have any other questions. Please ask your line manager if you are unsure who to contact or speak to.
 
Before you decide to have a COVID-19 vaccine, you will have a 1-1 assessment with a trained clinician and an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.”

"What will be considered at my pre-assessment consultation?"

“At pre-assessment, a clinician will go through your personal information and medical history carefully. They will discuss the effects of the vaccine with you and answer any questions you have about the vaccine.
 
This could include questions around fertility, having the vaccine when pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.  Your consent is required prior to having the vaccine. You will be given an information leaflet about the vaccine to read through too.

“Please remember that no vaccine is 100% effective, so it is really important that you continue to practice good hand hygiene and maintain social distancing even after you have had the vaccine.”

"Why are we encouraging our colleagues in general to have their vaccine?"

“As a frontline worker and employee of Whittington Health, all employees are entitled to have a COVID-19 vaccine now.
 
 The benefit of getting vaccinated is that it will help prevent you from getting COVID-19 and the potential serious consequences of having the virus. It will also help to protect those around you at work and at home”

"Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?"

“The COVID-19 vaccines that we are using in the UK are not ‘live’ vaccines and so cannot cause a COVID-19 infection.  The vaccine triggers your body to make antibodies which can fight COVID-19, and provide immunity.

The vaccine does not contain any animal or human products and is therefore is suitable for people from all religious faiths.
 
Current guidelines state that you will be offered a second dose of the vaccine 12 weeks after your first dose to further build your immunity.”

"What do we know about the trials of the vaccine in pregnant women?"

“The large clinical trials showed that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, however, it did not include pregnant women, and this is often the case with clinical trials. Therefore this does mean that we have limited information about the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women.

A very small number of women did become pregnant after they received the vaccine in a trial and there was no sign of any problems for the mother or baby, but again, the numbers are too small to be conclusive at this stage.
 
So, although we can’t give a definitive answer at the moment, what we can tell you is that none of the COVID-19 vaccines contain ingredients that are known to be harmful to pregnant women or to a developing baby.”

"I am in a high risk group, should I have the vaccine?"

“If you are already pregnant and in a high risk group, for example if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or are from a black and minority ethnic  background, you may wish to discuss having the vaccine with your doctor or midwife first.
 
If you are not pregnant but in a high risk group, the same will apply, please let the  person doing your assessment know or speak to your GP.”

"Can the vaccine cause infertility?"

“The vaccine does not affect your natural fertility because it does not contain any organisms. Reports that the vaccines cause infertility are misleading.”

"Which vaccine should I have?"

“Official guidelines states that there is no difference in the safety or effectiveness in either of the vaccines that we are offering, these are the Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford/ Astra Zeneca vaccine.”

Should I have the vaccine if I want to become pregnant now or in the future?

In this video one of our senior Midwives, Gillian Delamotte, talks about having the vaccine in more detail and answers questions around:
  • The vaccine and its safety in terms of  your fertility
  • If you should have the vaccine before becoming pregnant
  • Having the vaccine if you also have underlying health conditions
  • If your age and having the vaccine worries you in terms of becoming pregnant in the future
  • If you are currently pregnant and would like to have the vaccine - what stage you can do this
  • Your Occupational Risk Assessment if you are pregnant and have the vaccine
  • Explaining what the vaccine contains to reassure you about its safety

Can I have the vaccine whilst breastfeeding?

In this video Logan Van Lessen, Consultant Midwife talks about the safety of the vaccine and your options if you are breastfeeding now or will be in the future.

Should I have the vaccine if I am having or considering fertility treatment?

In this video Logan Van Lessen is talking about having the COVID-19 vaccine if you are thinking about, or are having fertility treatment. You may also want to read these FAQs produced by the British Fertility Society.
 
In this video Logan discusses:
  • The safety of the vaccine in relation to male fertility
  • Planning the vaccine around fertility treatment
  • Advice around your choices if you are over the age of 37
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