Covid-19 vaccines and fertility, an update from the BFS and ARCS.
posted by: Don Leslie
The British Fertility Society and Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists have created this
document in response to questions that patients have been asking about Covid-19 vaccines and
fertility. The availability of safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19 offers a way for many of our
patients to protect themselves against this disease, and access fertility treatment safely.
These FAQs were created on 8th February 2021 and are correct at the time of publication. Please be
aware that the speed of scientific research in this area is very rapid. Hence, we advise any concerned
person to always discuss their individual situation with their health care provider.
Should people of reproductive age receive a Covid-19 vaccine?
People of reproductive age are advised to have the vaccine when they receive their invitation for
vaccination. This includes those who are trying to have a baby as well as those who are thinking about
having a baby, whether that is in the near future or in a few years’ time.
Can any of the Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility?
There is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the
fertility of women or men.
Can I have a Covid-19 vaccine during my fertility treatment (IVF, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Egg
Freezing, Ovulation Induction, Intra-Uterine Insemination, using donated gametes or not)?
You may wish to consider the timing of having a Covid-19 vaccine during your fertility treatment,
taking into account that some people may get bothersome side effects in the few days after
vaccination that they do not want to have during treatment. These include for example, tenderness at
the injection site, fever, headache, muscle ache or feeling tired. It may be sensible to separate the date
of vaccination by a few days from some treatment procedures (for example, egg collection in IVF), so
that any symptoms, such as fever, might be attributed correctly to the vaccine or the treatment
procedure. Your medical team will be able to advise you about the best time for your situation.
This FAQ document represents the views of ARCS/BFS, which were reached after careful consideration of the scientific evidence available at the time of preparation. In the absence of scientific evidence on certain aspects, a consensus between the Executive
teams and other members has been obtained.
ARCS/BFS are not liable for damages related to the use of the information contained herein. We cannot guarantee correctness, completeness or accuracy of the guidance in every respect.
Please be aware that the evidence and advice for COVID-19 vaccines for those trying to achieve a pregnancy or those who are pregnant already is rapidly developing and the latest data or best practice may not yet be incorporated into the current version of this
document. ARCS and BFS recommend that patients always seek the advice of their local centre if they have any concerns.
Should I delay my fertility treatment until after I have had the Covid-19 vaccine?
The only reason to consider delaying fertility treatment until after you have been vaccinated
would be if you wanted to be protected against Covid-19 before you were pregnant. The chance
of successful treatment is unlikely to be affected by a short delay, for example of up to 6
months, particularly if you are 37 years of age or younger. However, delays of several months
may affect your chance of success once you are over 37 and especially if you are 40 years of age
How soon after having a Covid-19 vaccine can I start my fertility treatment?
Immediately – you do not need to delay your fertility treatment, unless you wish to have your
second dose before pregnancy (see above).
I had a positive pregnancy test today. Can I still have a Covid-19 vaccine?
If you are in a risk category for Covid-19, either because of the potential for exposure at work or
medical issues, you can still have the vaccine in pregnancy. If you have no increased risks for
Covid-19, the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI) have advised that you
delay it until after pregnancy. There is no reason to believe that any of the Covid-19 vaccines
would be harmful, but their effects in pregnancy have not yet been fully investigated. The
information that is known is reassuring. None of the vaccines contain live virus and so there is
no risk that the pregnant woman or her baby could get Covid-19 from the vaccine.
For further information on vaccination in pregnancy, see the information produced by the Royal
College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists [https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/news/updated-adviceon-
covid-19-vaccination-in-pregnancy-and-women-who-are-breastfeeding/]. The health care
professional looking after you in pregnancy will be able to advise you taking into account your
I am donating my eggs/sperm for the use of others. Can I still have a Covid-19 vaccine?
Covid-19 vaccines do not contain any virus and so you cannot pass on Covid-19 by receiving the
vaccine. The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority have stated that you must allow at
least 7 days from the most recent vaccination prior to donating eggs or sperm. If the donor feels
unwell after the vaccination, they must not donate for 7 days after their symptoms have got
I have had recurrent miscarriages and am now trying to get pregnant again. Should I postpone
having a Covid-19 vaccine?
There is no reason to postpone having your Covid-19 vaccine as it will not affect your risk of
having a miscarriage.
Version 1.3 11/02/2021
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