COVID vaccine does not negatively affect fertility in men or women, study finds

·1 min read
Pregnant person receiving COVID-19 vaccine.
Pregnant person receiving COVID-19 vaccine. Marina Demidiuk/iStock.

A new study published Thursday in the American Journal of Epidemiology "adds to growing evidence that there is no connection between COVID-19 vaccinations and a reduced chance of conceiving," CNN reports.

Instead, the study found that couples in which the male partner had contracted COVID-19 within 60 days had "slightly lower chances of conception" — just another reason to get vaccinated, CNN writes.

Researchers aren't yet sure why exactly COVID potentially affects male fertility in the short term, but fever (which is a symptom of COVID-19) can reduce sperm count, per the National Institutes of Health, which announced the study findings on Thursday.

"These findings indicate that male SARS-CoV-2 infection may be associated with a short-term decline in fertility and that COVID-19 vaccination does not impair fertility in either partner," study researchers wrote. "This adds to the evidence from animal studies, studies of humans undergoing fertility treatment, and the COVID-19 vaccine trials, none of which found an association between COVID-19 vaccination and lower fertility." SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of the virus that causes COVID.

The study included 2,126 women ages 21 to 45 in both the United States and Canada, who worked with researchers from December 2020 to September 2021. Researchers then followed up with them through November 2021, CNN reports.

"The findings provide reassurance that vaccination for couples seeking pregnancy does not appear to impair fertility," said Dr. Diana Bianchi of the NIH. "They also provide information for physicians who counsel patients hoping to conceive."

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