Covid and fertility

There is no doubt that for many of us the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is wonderful news. Bringing us that much closer to a time when we can get together again with friends and family. But there are people who do have some concerns.

Fertility matters

When you are trying for a baby, it is natural to be extra careful about what you are putting into your body. In recent weeks, there have been some rumours spreading on social media that the Covid-19 vaccine could affect fertility. Some posts have even gone so far as to suggest that the jab could cause recipients to become infertile.

Here at SureScan, fertility treatment forms a large part of our service. We take a great interest in anything that could have an impact on fertility. With that in mind, we decided to investigate these claims a little further. So, could the Covid jab really affect fertility?

‘No evidence’

The rumours surrounding the Covid vaccine and infertility have not just affected members of the general public. Even healthcare workers have been put off having the jab.

In January, the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) issued a joint statement to dispel these rumours. They confirmed that there is ‘no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility’.

And whilst it’s true that a lack of evidence does not mean it’s an impossibility, Dr Edward Morris, president of the RCOG, went on to reassure the public that there is ‘no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility’.

Covid-19 and fertility

Not only will having the jab not affect your chances of having a baby, there is a growing body of evidence to show that the pandemic is impacting the efficacy of fertility treatment. So it could be argued that the sooner we roll the vaccine out, the sooner couples can begin to get the help they need to conceive.

Fertility treatment in the UK stopped altogether between March and May 2020, and has been operating on a reduced service since. A recent study from Aberdeen University shows that these delays is having a disproportionate impact on women aged 40 plus.

The study looked at the impact of delays in the onset of fertility treatment of six months or twelve months. Women in five age categories, from under 30 to 40-42, were affected in some way. However, the biggest impact was seen in the 40-42 category. Here there was estimated to be an 11.8% reduction in live births after a six-month delay, and a 22.4% reduction if the treatment was delayed by a year.

The authors of the study have said that they hope the results will inform a phased reintroduction of IVF in the NHS. And women aged 40 plus would get priority.

For more information about fertility treatment, please contact us on 0121 308 7774.