What you need to know
In a study supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), researchers analyzed data from more than 2,000 couples who were trying to conceive. They found that couples in which one or both partners had been vaccinated were no less likely than other couples to conceive. Only one factor was linked to lower fertility: recent infection with COVID-19.
What did the researchers do?
Between December 2020 and September 2021, the researchers recruited 2,126 female participants between the ages of 21 and 45 in the United States or Canada who were trying to get pregnant. Every eight weeks, the participants filled out questionnaires about their health, lifestyle, COVID-19 vaccination and infection status, and partners’ health. Participants who became pregnant during this time answered questions about their pregnancy. Male partners were also invited to fill out questionnaires about themselves.
What did the researchers learn?
By the time of the last questionnaire, 73 percent of participants and 74 percent of male partners had gotten at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Participants who got the COVID-19 vaccine were not less likely than others to get pregnant. However, couples in which the male partner had been infected with COVID-19 in the past 60 days were less likely to conceive.
Why is this research important?
There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, including the claim that the vaccine can cause infertility. This study is one of many to show that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and does not affect fertility.
Where can I go to learn more?
- NIH shares more information on this study of COVID-19 vaccines and fertility.
- Should you get the vaccine during pregnancy? Does the vaccine cause infertility? NIH research is helping to answer these questions and more.
- Studies have found that COVID-19 vaccination can help protect mothers and their infants from getting sick.
Wesselink, A. K., Hatch, E. E., Rothman, K. J., Wang, T. R., Willis, M. D., Yland, J., Crowe, H. M., Geller, R. J., Willis, S. K., Perkins, R. B., Regan, A. K., Levinson, J., Mikkelsen, E. M., & Wise, L. A. (2022). A prospective cohort study of COVID-19 vaccination, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and fertility. American Journal of Epidemiology, kwac011. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwac011
NIH COVID-19 Resources by Topic
COVID-19 research information and resources by topic from NIH institutes and centers