Rumors and false reports about COVID-19 vaccines affecting fertility continue to circulate, adding to vaccine hesitancy.
“We're hearing concerns about whether the vaccine can affect fertility. We're not just hearing it from the male patients, we're hearing it from a lot of their partners, their female partners as well. And we're hearing it from parents who are thinking about vaccinating their kids,” said Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, urologist with the University of Miami Health System.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already said it’s safe for women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding. Now, top male fertility specialists in the country are weighing in.
“The way that I phrase it for patients and when they're considering vaccines for their children as well, is that the risk of COVID infection on fertility is way worse than the vaccine could ever be,” said Dr. Amin Herati, men's infertility health director at Johns Hopkins University.
“And I think, based on what we know, based on biology, based on what we have found out with this study, we're pretty confident to say that this should not be affecting fertility,” Ramasamy said.
Urologists with the University of Miami Health System looked at the COVID-19 virus and vaccines. They found the virus can live in male reproductive organs for months after infection, causing temporary problems.
“And we found that at about three to six months, there was actually a decline in sperm parameters in the people that got infected long after that infection. But then, thankfully, at six months, the sperm counts recovered in the men that were infected,” Ramasamy said.
And then, they tested samples in younger men, both before and after they were vaccinated with Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and found no reproductive changes.
“And we looked at sperm analyses after the two doses were received, and we found that there was no decline in any of the men,” said Ramasamy.
The University of Miami Health System plans to continue looking into vaccine hesitancy and what additional studies it can conduct to reassure people.