COVID-19 vaccines do not affect ovarian fertility or function, according to a new Israeli study published in the journal Human Reproduction.
“The vaccine definitely did not impair ovarian activity,” said Prof. Jaron Rabinovici, deputy director of the Women and Maternity Division, director of the Maternity Department, and a fertility specialist at Sheba Medical Center.
“This study gives us for the first time a very objective measure and evidence about the lack of negative effects of the vaccines on ovarian function of fertility.”
Specifically, the study was conducted at Sheba in collaboration with Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine. It was initiated and led by Dr. Aya Mohr-Sasson, a senior physician in the Women and Maternity Division in Sheba.
The team recruited 200 women between the ages of 18 and 42 to participate in a study, testing the level of their anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). This hormone is considered a reliable measure to evaluate a woman’s ovarian health and overall fertility.
The women were tested before they received their first Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shot and then again three months later, after they had received their second dose. They were also asked to fill out questionnaires about their menstrual cycles and possible side effects.
129 women completed the study. Some became pregnant or infected with the virus. The AMH level in all of the women who were part of the final cohort remained unchanged.
“One of the concerns raised since the introduction of the mRNA coronavirus vaccine, plaguing women of childbearing age around the world, was that it could impair the functioning of the woman’s ovaries and lead to future infertility,” said Rabinovici. “Many concerned women and mothers have approached us on this issue. This groundbreaking study shows that the vaccine does not affect a woman’s level of fertility.”
However, the study’s authors concluded that while those who took the vaccine had elevated COVID-19 antibodies at three months – meaning they were protected from the virus – they did not find any association between antibody levels and AMH levels.
“We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccinations are not associated with a decrease in ovarian reserve at three months,” the authors wrote. “This information could be of significant value to physicians and patients alike.
“Additional studies and long-term follow-up could further strengthen our findings.”
Rabinovici added that he is in personal practice at Sheba and a reproduction specialist. He said that many of the women he sees were vaccinated throughout the last year and managed to get pregnant.
The study should “encourage women to get the shot because it does not do any harm to their ovaries,” he said. “We know being sick with COVID during pregnancy can cause harm to the woman or the fetus. We know that vaccinated women have normal pregnancies.”
He added that women themselves who are interested in future pregnancies and the mothers of girls who are bothered by “unreliable news should take a look at this study.”