Conversation Guide: Fertility + Parenthood

Fertility banner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 12 years and older get the COVID-19 vaccination. This includes anyone who is pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill if they catch COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine reduces the chance of severe illness in people who are pregnant. When caregivers get the COVID-19 vaccine, they also help protect their newborn.

Some people have questions related to the vaccine and fertility. These are key facts about the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Worldwide, billions of COVID-19 vaccines have been safely administered.
  • COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This includes studies for children as young as 12.
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not affect people’s ability to have children. There is no evidence the vaccines affect women’s ability to get pregnant, nor does it affect men’s reproductive ability.
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not cause impotence.
  • COVID-19 vaccines CANNOT change a person’s DNA.

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about fertility concerns related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Expand all

What are possible side effects after vaccination for myself or for my children?

Some people have side effects after vaccination and some people do not. Side effects show that your body is building protection against the virus. The most common side effects after the COVID-19 vaccination include pain, redness, and swelling of the area where you received the shot. In addition, you may experience tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. For both adults and children, these side effects typically last 1 to 3 days.

While side effects can be uncomfortable, adults and children who are vaccinated are less likely to catch the virus and much less likely to get dangerously ill from the virus. A healthcare provider can give you advice for how you can make you or your child more comfortable if side effects occur. 

Will the vaccine affect my or my child’s future fertility? What about puberty?

No, the COVID-19 vaccines do not affect puberty or future fertility.

There is a lot of information about the COVID-19 vaccines – some of it factual and some of it not true. The most important thing is for you to go to sources that are reliable, and that use studied, scientific facts. This will allow you to get all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Sometimes it is also helpful to talk to someone you trust and whom you know has accurate information – like a doctor, nurse, or a community health worker. Many of these professionals have already gotten the vaccine so they can also tell you about their experiences.

Here are some resources that might be helpful:

Websites

Video Resources

Does the vaccine affect menstruation?

Vaccines can temporarily change someone's menstruation, but this change is temporary and does not affect fertility.

There are a lot of things that can affect menstruation, including stress from school or work, new medications, illness, or a change in your exercise habits or nutrition. The most important thing to remember is that the COVID-19 vaccines do not affect puberty or fertility.

Is it safe to get the vaccine while breastfeeding?

Yes, it is safe to get the vaccine while breastfeeding. The vaccine will protect you from getting infected, getting seriously ill, and spreading it to loved ones.

When caregivers get the COVID-19 vaccine, they also help protect their newborn. Recent reports show that caregivers who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have antibodies in their breastmilk that may help protect their babies. Scientists are studying this now to learn more. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause a COVID-19 infection in anyone. The vaccine will protect the breastfeeding caregiver and the newborn, because a vaccinated caregiver is less likely to infect their baby who is too young to get vaccinated at this time.  

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m currently pregnant or trying to become pregnant?

Yes, the CDC recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone over the age of 12. This includes anyone who is pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Thousands of pregnant people have been safely vaccinated without problems for themselves or their babies. There is also no evidence that the vaccines made pregnant people more likely to miscarry.

The benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people outweigh any potential risks. Pregnant people or those who were recently pregnant have a higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. They also have an increased risk of preterm birth. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from complications that arise from COVID-19.

If you have further questions you should talk to a trusted healthcare provider.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine prevent me from getting pregnant in the future?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not prevent someone from getting pregnant in the future. The vaccines have been extensively studied and no evidence has been found that shows the vaccines causes  any problems with fertility.

There is a lot of information about the COVID-19 vaccines – some of it factual and some of it not true. The most important thing is for you to go to sources that are reliable, and that use studied, scientific facts. This will allow you to get all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Sometimes it is also helpful to talk to someone you trust and whom you know has accurate information – like a doctor, nurse, or a community health worker. Many of these professionals have already gotten the vaccine so they can also tell you about their experiences. Here are some resources that might be helpful:

Websites

Video Resources

Does the COVID-19 vaccine change people’s DNA?

No, the COVID-19 vaccines will not change your DNA.

There is a lot of information about the COVID-19 vaccines – some of it factual and some of it not true. The most important thing is for you to go to sources that are reliable, and that use studied, scientific facts. This will allow you to get all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Sometimes it is also helpful to talk to someone you trust and whom you know has accurate information – like a doctor, nurse, or a community health worker. Many of these professionals have already gotten the vaccine so they can also tell you about their experiences. Here are some resources that might be helpful:

Websites

Video Resources

I’ve heard the vaccine will make me impotent. Is this true?

No. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will make you impotent. The vaccines have been extensively studied and no evidence has been found that shows the vaccines causing any problems of this nature.

There is a lot of information about the COVID-19 vaccines – some of it factual and some of it not true. The most important thing is for you to go to sources that are reliable, and that use studied, scientific facts. This will allow you to get all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Sometimes it is also helpful to talk to someone you trust and whom you know has accurate information – like a doctor, nurse, or a community health worker. Many of these professionals have already gotten the vaccine so they can also tell you about their experiences. Here are some resources that might be helpful:

Websites

Video Resources