A new study shows that vaccines don’t have an impact on fertility in males. Instead, what could impact their fertility is a COVID-19 infection.
One of the leading fears of COVID-19 vaccines is fertility, a theory that has prompted many to avoid getting their shots. But a new study found no evidence to support this belief, however, it shows that males infected with COVID-19 could experience decreased fertility for up to 60 days.
The study, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and published this past week in the American Journal of Epidemiology, tracked the data of 2,100 women and their male partners for about a year, finding that while COVID-19 vaccines didn’t impact the fertility of either gender, getting sick with it did affect males.
Researchers found that men who tested positive for COVID-19 were 18% less likely to conceive during their partner’s menstrual cycle when compared to men who did not test positive for the virus. Their fertility was more likely to be affected if their illness was moderate to severe.
Researchers theorize that these findings occur due to fevers and inflammation, both symptoms of COVID-19 that have been linked with lower sperm counts. While more research is necessary to understand why this happens, couples who’ve yet to get their vaccines and haven’t done so due to fertility concerns should take this information into account.
“The findings provide reassurance that vaccination for couples seeking pregnancy does not appear to impair fertility,” said Diana Bianchi, M.D., director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study. “They also provide information for physicians who counsel patients hoping to conceive.”
While researchers will continue to monitor the impact of vaccinations on fertility, they find it unlikely for this to become a real concern, no matter the maker of the vaccine. According to researchers at Boston University, “It is unlikely that adverse effects on fertility could arise many months after vaccination.”