COVID Vaccines Show No Signs of Harming Fertility or Sexual Function

Rumors and myths regarding the COVID-19 vaccine's effects on reproduction and sexual function have spread virally like a Delta variant virus. People share rumors about erectile dysfunction or fertility problems after vaccinations. However, there have been no studies linking vaccines to problems with pregnancy, menstrual cycle, or sperm quality. All evidence points to COVID-19 causing problems in these areas.
Officials from the health department tried to calm fears by explaining that the safety of shots is supported by data from clinical trials as well as hundreds of millions of vaccines. Scientific American interviewed four experts in reproductive biology and sexual biology about the pervasive myths and evidence against them, as well as the actual health risks caused by COVID-19. Here are some conclusions from studies that looked at both those who were vaccinated and those who had the disease.

There are no adverse effects from vaccination in pregnancy. COVID-19 is the real danger.

In August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its recommendations. This strengthened its recommendation that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should be vaccinated against COVID-19.

This month, the U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency MHRA found that there was no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of birth complications or congenital anomalies. Women who are pregnant have reported similar reactions to the vaccines to those not.

According to Tara Shirazian (an associate professor and a NYU Langone Health gynecologist), pregnant women are more at risk of severe illness and complications from COVID-19 than their peers.

An infection is five times more likely when you consider the immune system effects of pregnancy, according to Jane Frederick, a California reproductive endocrinology fertility specialist and medical director at HRC Fertility. She adds that pregnant women can become infected faster and may experience rapid decline.

People should get vaccinated before they have children. However, the vaccine is safe for all three trimesters of pregnancy. Mary Rosser, director of integrated womans health at Columbia University Irving Medical Center's Department of Obstetrics & Gynology, said that everyone should be vaccinated. 22 medical organizations released a joint statement in August stating that vaccination is the best way to protect pregnant women from the possible harm of COVID-19 infection.

Even among assisted reproduction techniques users, the vaccines have no fertility effects.

One source of fertility myths regarding vaccines could be a letter written by a former researcher at Pfizer and sent to the European Medicines Agency in December 2020. They asked for a suspension of all vaccine studies. They suggested that vaccine-induced antibodies against a protein used by SARS-CoV-2 to enter human cells could also attack another protein necessary for embryo implantation. SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID.

In June 2021, a study compared success rates for embryo transfer to pregnant women with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 following vaccination or infection with success rates for those without antibodies. During 171 attempts, such rates did not seem to be affected by the presence of antibodies.

A pair of immunologists wrote in a New York Times essay about their research showing that the sequences amino acids that make the virus spike protein and the implantation protein are different. They also showed that spike-targeting antibodies don't cross-react with the implant protein.

After vaccination, stress may cause menstrual problems.

Some women who have been vaccinated have experienced disruptions in their monthly cycles. Rosser said that we are not dismissing their concerns. Rosser says that what they have to say about their bodies is important. They are the best people to know about their bodies.

These complaints are unlikely to be explained by vaccines. Experts agree that stress is a possible indirect factor. Shirazian states that getting a new vaccine can be stressful in itself, and other stressors can disrupt a menstrual cycle. These tensions can have a physiological effect on menstrual timing.

Rosser states that menstrual symptoms are temporary. In the eight months since my last post, I have spoken to many women and it seems like any menstrual effects are temporary, she said.

Early August, EMA published a report stating that there was no evidence linking COVID-19 vaccine and menstrual disorders. Separately, MHRA did not find any link between COVID vaccines and menstrual disorders.

Menstrual problems can include clotting in heavy periods. Shirazian states that blood clot refers to menstrual flow and is not the medical term for a clot within a blood vessel. She says they have nothing in common. Clotting occurs when blood leaves the vessels. It is not dangerous for tissues to block flow.

COVID-19 can affect your menstrual cycle.

COVID can lead to clotting, which is a condition that causes blood clots. This can cause pulmonary embolisms, which block blood flow to the lungs. SARS-CoV-2 may also have an impact on menstrual cycles, according to some evidence. In September 2020, a small study of 177 patients with COVID-19 found that 28 percent had experienced disruptions in their cycles, with shorter periods and less bleeding.

Rosser states that infectious diseases can also be a stressor. Stress can be caused by illness, she says. Shirazian adds that COVID is 100 percent more dangerous than any disruptions to your menstrual cycle after vaccinations.

COVID-19 is a vaccine that does not affect sperm and erectile function.

Ranjith Ramasamy is the University of Miami's director of reproductive urology. He has published numerous studies that describe the novel coronavirus found in testicular and penile tissue, and its effects on erectile function. His colleagues and he also examined the possible effects of vaccines on these areas, but found no.

Ramasamy's most surprising observation was the way COVID-19 affects erections. These rely on blood circulation. He says that COVID causes damage to blood vessels that supply organs. The penis is no different than other organs that need a lot of blood.

Surprisingly, SARS-CoV-2 was found in penile tissue nine months after infection. These results are based on a small study that included people who had penile implants due to severe erectile dysfunction. Ramasamy states that the rich blood supply to penis seemed to have provided a pathway for the virus to these tissues.

SARS-CoV-2, like many viruses, also makes its way into the testes. It can cause cell damage and enter cells. A biopsy of testis tissue taken from six COVID-19 victims showed that the virus was still present in one sample and that it had decreased sperm count in three others. Another sample taken from a patient who survived the disease showed persistent SARS-2 in the testes.

Ramasamy's colleagues and he have not found any adverse effects on sperm counts or other fertility measures following vaccination. He said that one of the most common myths about the vaccine was that it might affect fertility. However, they found no adverse effects on sperm counts.

A few words about vaccination and the negative effects of COVID-19.

All experts agreed that vaccination is the best way to protect against the sexual and reproductive effects of COVID-19.