RCOG and the RCM statement on a link between COVID-19 vaccine and infertility

  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • 19 Jan 2021

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have issued a statement on misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and fertility.

The organisations say they are aware that there has been some misinformation circulating about the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on fertility and want to assure women that there is no evidence to support these claims.

Dr Edward Morris, RCOG president, said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of COVID-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.”

A link between the vaccines and fertility first came to the fore in December, when German doctor and epidemiologist, Wolfgang Wodarg asked the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to delay the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. One of the concerns cited was that the vaccine might affect syncytin-1, which is an important component of the placenta in mammals.

A petition was launched to support the petition. This was picked up by anti-vaccination blogs and websites and posted to social media.

“There is​ ​no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women's fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems,” Dr Morris said.

Women have also expressed concern in relation to the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The RCOG and RCM have produced an information sheet to help pregnant women who are eligible for and have been offered vaccination make an informed choice. The document does not make a recommendation for or against vaccination in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Instead, it presents the facts on the risks between vaccination and COVID-19.