Pregnancy rates were the same regardless of vaccination status for people undergoing fresh embryo transfer IVF treatment
22 April 2022
Pregnancy rates are the same for people undergoing a form of IVF called fresh embryo transfer, whether or not they have received a covid-19 vaccine. The finding adds to the growing body of evidence that covid-19 vaccines don’t undermine fertility.
Most previous research into how covid-19 vaccines might influence IVF outcomes has focused on techniques that use frozen embryos or inject eggs with live sperm. But fresh embryo transfers more closely mimic natural pregnancies, as the sperm has to penetrate the egg on its own.
Emily Jacobs at the University of Iowa and her team analysed data from 142 vaccinated people and 138 unvaccinated people who underwent fresh embryo transfer between December 2020 and September 2021. The researchers didn’t collect data on self-reported gender identity. About 90 per cent of the vaccinated people in the study were fully vaccinated, while 10 per cent had received one dose of a vaccine.
Among the vaccinated and unvaccinated participants, there were no significant differences in outcomes during various stages of IVF, including the number of eggs retrieved, the ovarian response to stimulation, the number of viable embryos or fertilisation rates. Both groups had the same pregnancy and miscarriage rates.
“I think the data we show confirmed previously published data that we really have found no detrimental impact of covid-19 vaccination on any aspect of reproduction,” says Jacobs. “Infection [with covid-19], on the other hand, has been shown to impact male fertility by temporarily decreasing sperm counts and motility.”
The study also included fully vaccinated people who received their last vaccine dose right before their IVF cycle, so there is probably no benefit of waiting to get vaccinated either, says Jacobs.
“Those facing infertility worry about taking any action that may negatively affect reproduction,” says Sigal Klipstein, a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Ethics. “Studies such as this one provide reassurance that vaccination has no detrimental effects on pregnancy outcomes in this group of people.”
Journal reference: JAMA Network Open, DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.8625
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