Rumors and myths about the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine on all aspects of reproductive and sexual function spread on social media platforms like the Delta variant of the virus misinformation, where people exchanged information about erectile dysfunction and fertility after vaccination Rumors of ability interruption. However, research to date has not linked the vaccine to problems related to pregnancy, menstrual cycle, erectile performance, or sperm quality. The evidence does indicate that COVID-19 may involve problems in all these areas.
Health officials tried to alleviate concerns by interpreting data from clinical trials and hundreds of millions of vaccinations to support the safety of injections. Scientific american Discussed with four experts in the field of reproduction and sexual biology about the prevailing myths, the evidence against them, and the real health damage caused by COVID-19. The following are a series of conclusions that can be drawn from studies of vaccinated people and people with this disease.
Vaccination has nothing to do with adverse pregnancy reactions. COVID-19 is the real threat.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations in early August and strengthened its recommendations: People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Discovered this month “There is no pattern… that any COVID-19 vaccine used in the UK will increase the risk of congenital abnormalities or birth complications. Pregnant women have reported similar suspected reactions to the vaccine as non-pregnant people.”
Tara Shirazian, an associate professor and gynecologist at the Lange Health Center of New York University, said that if you are infected with the virus, compared with your peers, pregnant women are at a much higher risk of serious illness and complications from COVID-19.
Jane Frederick, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist and medical director at HRC Fertility in California, said that the impact of pregnancy itself on the immune system increases the likelihood of infection by about five times. “You will get infected faster, and pregnant women may go downhill quickly,” she added.
Mary Rosser, director of comprehensive women’s health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Irvine Medical Center, said that people should seize the opportunity to get the vaccine before conception, but the vaccine is safe for all three trimesters of pregnancy. At the beginning of August, 22 medical groups issued a joint statement Said “The best way for pregnant women to protect themselves from the potential harm of COVID-19 infection is to get vaccinated.”
The vaccine has shown no fertility effects, including in people who use assisted reproductive technology.
One origin of the fertility lies about vaccines may be a letter co-authored by former Pfizer researchers and sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in December 2020. The two authors requested that all vaccine research be suspended. They claim that vaccine-induced antibodies against the protein that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter human cells may also attack another human protein required for embryo implantation. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID.
A study published in June 2021 compared Transfer embryos to women with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies The success rate after vaccination or infection in people without antibodies. In 171 transfer attempts, the presence of antibodies did not seem to affect such ratios.
in a New York Times In a paper, a pair of immunologists described their work, showing that the amino acid sequence that constitutes the implant-related protein is not similar to the amino acid sequence that constitutes the viral spike protein, and The spike targeting antibody does not cross-react with the implanted protein.
After vaccination, stress may be the cause of menstrual cycle problems.
Some vaccinated women report that their monthly cycle is disturbed. “We will not fire them,” Rosser said. “Their evaluation of their body is very important. They know their body best.”
But nothing in the vaccine can explain these complaints. Experts agree that one possible indirect factor is pressure. Shirazian said that getting a new vaccine is a stress in itself, and multiple stress factors can cause interruptions in the menstrual cycle. These stressful physiological effects may disrupt the pathways that drive menstrual time.
Rosser said the good news is that any menstrual effects seem to be short-lived. “In the past eight months, I have talked to enough women, and it seems that whatever it is is short-lived,” she said.
In early August, EMA issued a report stating No causality established Between complaints of menstrual interruption and COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, MHRA Link not found Between menstrual disorders and the COVID vaccine.
Some descriptions of menstrual problems mentioned that blood clotting occurs when menstrual flow is heavy. Shirazian said that the term “blood clot” related to menstrual volume is different from the medical term used to describe clots in blood vessels. “They have nothing to do with each other,” she said. Menstrual blood will clot as the blood leaves the blood vessel and will not cause the risk of blocking the flow to the tissues.
COVID-19 may affect the menstrual cycle.
Infection with COVID and Coagulation in the medical sense-For example, a pulmonary embolism that blocks blood flow to the lungs. Some evidence also points to the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the menstrual cycle. A small study of 177 COVID-19 patients published in September 2020 showed that 28% Experienced periodic interruption, Including less bleeding and longer cycles.
Rosser said that infectious diseases are also a source of stress. “Illness can cause stress,” she added. In addition to any menstrual cycle interruptions that may occur after vaccination, “If you have to choose between the two, then infection with COVID is 100% worse,” Shirazian said.
The vaccine will not threaten sperm or erectile function, but COVID-19 will.
Ranjith Ramasamy, director of the Department of Genitourinary and Urology at the University of Miami, published several studies describing the new coronavirus in penis and testicular tissues and its effects on erectile dysfunction. He and his colleagues also studied the potential impact of vaccines in these areas, but found nothing.
For Ramasamy, the most surprising observation is how COVID-19 interferes with blood flow-dependent erections. “New coronary pneumonia affects the blood vessels that supply organs, and the penis is not much different from other organs that require a lot of blood,” he said.
Even more surprising is that there are SARS-CoV-2 in penile tissue 9 months after infectionThese results are from a small study of people who had penis implants due to severe erectile dysfunction. Ramassami said that the rich blood supply of the penis seems to ensure the virus’s access to these tissues.
Like many viruses, SARS-CoV-2 also enters the testis, where it can enter cells and cause damage.A biopsy study of the testicular tissues of 6 people who died of COVID-19 showed The virus is still present in one patient’s sample, and the sperm counts of the other three patients have decreasedA sample from a patient who survived the disease also showed persistent SARS-CoV-2 in the testicles.
Ramassami and his colleagues discovered No harmful changes in sperm count And other fertility measures after vaccination. “One of the biggest misunderstandings of vaccines is that it affects fertility,” he said, and the discovery that there is no negative effect on sperm count is “very reassuring.”
Some last words about vaccination and the adverse effects of COVID-19.
All experts have the same gain: the key to preventing the reproductive and sexual effects of COVID-19 is vaccination.