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?

Yes.
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?

No.
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)?

Yes.
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.

 

Disclaimer
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
or older.
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
individual risk.
I am donating my eggs/sperm for the use of others. Can I still have a Covid-19 vaccine?
Yes.
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
better [https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/covid-19-and-fertility-treatment/].
I have had recurrent miscarriages and am now trying to get pregnant again. Should I postpone
having a Covid-19 vaccine?
No.
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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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

How to access our service:

We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with symptoms of coronavirus is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Advice from our service:

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

More details on the fitting of LARCs (coils and implants) at our service can be found here

If you need the combined contraceptive pill please try (if you can) to get updated measurements of your height, weight and blood pressure before calling us.

There is also specific advice on coronavirus available for People Living with HIV here, and for pregnant women here

Self-requested Sexual Health screening by post is available for for under 25s only - more info here

For others with testing requirements please contact the service on 0300 303 3989.

Information is now also available to advise on sexual contact during a time of social distancing here.

Alternative provision:

Please be aware that we may have to cancel, rearrange or shut clinical services in response to changing clinical and staffing pressures created by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - at your local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV postal testing - available to at-risk groups for a small fee -  more info
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info