This is looked at in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association 22nd April 2022 by Jacobs and others.
Women of reproductive age have been at the forefront of COVID 19 vaccine hesitancy, with sight concerns about the vaccine’s effects on future fertility, current pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In the United States in February 2022 only 57% of pregnant patients were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to becoming pregnant.
This lags behind the general population.
To date current literature surrounding COVID-19 vaccination and potential associations with infertility have been performed mainly in frozen embryo transfer cycles or in-vitro fertilisation cycles using intracytoplasmic sperm injection ICSI, both of which do not occur in vivo conception.
This study investigated the association of COVID-19 vaccination status with IVF fresh embryo transfer cycle stimulation characteristics and clinical outcomes.
Cycle characteristics and clinical outcomes were compared between COVID-19 vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.
142 patients were vaccinated against COVID-19 and 138 patients were unvaccinated.
The majority of patients were young, nulliparous and overweight.
The two groups were similar at baseline.
In the vaccinated group, 127 patients were fully vaccinated and 15 patients were partially vaccinated.
The mean time from last vaccination to oocyte retrieval was 93 days.
There was no difference in ovarian reserve been the vaccinated and unvaccinated group or ovarian response.
Mean number of oocytes retrieved was also similar between the groups.
Vaccinated patients had higher mean fertilisation rates than unvaccinated patients.
There was also no significant difference in ongoing clinical pregnancy rate between the two groups.
The study found no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccination negatively affected cycle stimulation characteristics, embryological variables, or clinical outcomes in IVF.
Current and emerging scientific evidence continues to support that COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective and has no impact on fertility.
The results of this study are reassuring to patients planning on pregnancy and confirms that they should consider vaccination.
Dr Paul Ettlinger
BM, DRCOG, FRCGP, FRIPH, DOccMed