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Pregnancy and breastfeeding Q&A page

Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?

There’s no evidence the COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on your chances of becoming pregnant. There’s no need to avoid getting pregnant after being vaccinated.

Vaccination during pregnancy, when trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding

Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended in pregnancy. Studies have shown that hospital admission and severe illness from COVID-19 are more common in pregnant women (compared to those not pregnant), especially those in the third trimester of pregnancy, and that stillbirth and preterm birth is more likely (compared to pregnant women without COVID-19).

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live coronavirus or any additional ingredients that are harmful to pregnant women or their babies. Other non-live vaccines (whooping cough and influenza) are safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies:

  • If you are pregnant and have already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should continue with your second dose.
  • If you are beginning your vaccination course, we will offer you an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca. This is not due to safety concerns around AstraZeneca during pregnancy, there is just more data available for having the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in pregnancy.

Women trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility or breastfeeding.

Below are links to information from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists to help you make an informed choice about whether to have the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy. You can also discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with your midwife or healthcare professional.

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the UK are effective and have an extremely good safety profile. They do not contain organisms that can multiply in the body, so they cannot infect an unborn baby in the womb.

Fertility, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding from further questions page

I’m worried that the COVID-19 vaccine will affect my fertility?

There have been a lot of rumours that the vaccines could affect fertility but these are not true. Here’s why:

  • There is no scientific process by which the vaccines could affect women’s fertility.
  • Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines teach your body to fight the disease and to develop antibodies to do this. They do not have any ingredients that would affect fertility and the components leave the body within a few days.
  • Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data, for example, there is no evidence to support the theory that immunity to the spike protein could lead to fertility problems.
  • Most people who contract COVID-19 will develop the same antibodies that you get from the vaccine and there is no evidence of fertility problems after having had COVID-19.
  • Many women who have had the COVID-19 vaccine have gone on to become pregnant.

It is standard practice for new medicines not to be recommended for pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy when they are first issued. Now that more data is available, the independent body responsible for assessing the safety of vaccines (the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations) has updated its advice and says there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccine.

Can I have the vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

The COVID-19 vaccine is offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and priority group. If you have concerns, you should discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with your midwife or healthcare professional and reach a joint decision based on your individual circumstances.

  • If you have already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should continue with your second dose.
  • If you are beginning your vaccination course, we will offer you an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca. This is not due to safety concerns around AstraZeneca during pregnancy, there is just more data available for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, you should book your first dose vaccine with your GP or at our Vaccination Centre @ UWE so you can be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca.

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the UK are effective and have an extremely good safety profile. They do not contain organisms that can multiply in the body, so they cannot infect an unborn baby in the womb.

Women trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility or breastfeeding.

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Data Opt Outs

Your data matters to us at Montpelier Health.

In a letter to all GPs, 19 July 2021, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Jo Churchill set out a new process for commencing data collection, moving away from a previously fixed date of 1 September.

  • Your GP holds your health record, for use by us and other parts of the NHS for your direct care.
  • NHS Digital also uses some of this data for research, planning, and improving the NHS for everyone.

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NHS App

After you download the app, you will need to set up an NHS login and prove who you are. The app then securely connects to information from your GP surgery.

If your device supports fingerprint detection or facial recognition, you can use it to log in to the NHS App each time, instead of using a password and security code.

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