New York, January 26: Amid increasing vaccination hesitation among expecting women, a new study has found that vaccination against COVID-19 did not affect fertility outcomes in patients undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
The findings, which were published in 'Obstetrics & Gynecology' (the Green Journal), added to the growing body of evidence providing reassurance that Covid-19 vaccination does not affect fertility in any way.
Investigators at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Icahn Mount Sinai), New York City, and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York (RMA of New York) compared rates of fertilization, pregnancy, and early miscarriage in IVF patients who had received two doses of vaccines manufactured by Pfizer or Moderna with the same outcomes in non vaccinated patients.
"This is one of the largest studies to review fertility and IVF cycle outcomes in patients who received COVID-19 vaccinations. The study found no significant differences in response to ovarian stimulation, egg quality, embryo development, or pregnancy outcomes between the vaccinated compared to unvaccinated patients," said Devora A. Aharon, MD, first author of the study.
"Our findings that vaccination had no impact on these outcomes should be reassuring to those who are trying to conceive or are in early pregnancy," added Dr Aharon, who is a fellow in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Icahn Mount Sinai and RMA of New York.
The study involved patients whose eggs were collected from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a laboratory, creating embryos that were frozen and later thawed and transferred to the womb, and patients who underwent medical treatment to stimulate the development of eggs. The two groups of patients who underwent frozen-thawed embryo transfer--214 vaccinated and 733 unvaccinated--had
The patients in the study were treated at RMA of New York between February and September 2021. Patients undergoing IVF treatment are closely tracked, enabling the researchers to capture early data on the implantation of embryos in addition to pregnancy losses that might be undercounted in other studies.
The publication of the new study coincided with the surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Previous studies have found that COVID-19 vaccination helped protect pregnant people--for whom COVID-19 substantially increases the risk of severe illness and death--from severe illness, conferred antibodies to their infants, and did not raise the risk of preterm birth or fetal growth problems.