Misinformation about the ability of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to impact fertility has been swirling around the internet since the vaccine launched in December 2020. Yet studies so far have not linked the vaccines with problems related to pregnancy, menstrual cycles, erectile performance, or sperm quality. However, the evidence does show that COVID-19 can involve problems in all of these areas.
“If infected with the virus, pregnant people are at highly increased risk for severe disease and complications from COVID-19, compared with their same-age counterparts,” says Taraneh Shirazian, MD, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone.
In a report by the European Medicines Agency, no cause-and-effect association had been established between complaints of menstrual disruptions and COVID-19 vaccination. Some descriptions of menstrual problems mention clotting during heavier periods. Dr. Shirazian says that the term “blood clot” as it relates to menstrual flow is different from the term used medically to describe a clot in a blood vessel. “They have nothing to do with each other,” she says. The clotting of menstrual blood happens as the blood exits the vessels and is not a risk for blocking flow to tissues.
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