Corona vaccination and fertility: boosters for sperm?

Does the corona vaccination affect fertility? Can I get vaccinated? How does the vaccination affect the partner’s sperm? Many women and men who want to have children are unsure. Rumors about the corona vaccines raise doubts about the vaccines. Researchers eliminate these uncertainties.

Contrary to many rumours, the corona vaccination does not make you infertile. That’s how the vaccine works, that’s why it doesn’t have a negative impact on having children and that’s how it affects male sperm.

Sperm not negatively affected by vaccination

Not only women are afraid that the corona vaccination could have a negative effect on their fertility. Men also worry about   sperm fitness . Researchers from Florida took on the question. The result: The vaccination does not have a negative effect on the sperm, rather it could have a positive effect on the ejaculate.

A total of 45 young men had to submit a sperm sample before being vaccinated. About half of all participants received an mRNA vaccine from Moderna, the other part BioNTech/Pfizer. A second sample was taken 70 days after the second vaccination.

In addition to the sperm count, the volume of the sperm and the motility of the sperm were also increased. While eight men had too few sperm before the start of the test, it was only one after the basic immunization.

However, it has not been proven whether the vaccination can have a positive effect on fertility. The quality of the semen can vary throughout the year and, according to studies, should be better in the spring and summer than in the autumn and winter months, for example.

In any case, the corona vaccination does not have a negative effect on sperm and does not have a negative effect on male fertility. This has already been shown in previous studies.

Corona vaccination and fertility: no need to worry

Experts give the go-ahead for vaccination if you want to have children: Vaccines are sufficiently tested before they are approved. There is no evidence that women or young girls could become infertile as a result of the vaccination.

In particular, the rumor that the corona vaccination could cause  infertility due to the spike protein of the corona virus  is being spread on social media by opponents of vaccination. This is due to the structural similarity of the spike protein and the protein syncytin-1, which is responsible for the formation of the placenta.

As part of the vaccination, the immune system remembers   the structure of the surface protein of  SARS-CoV-2 . The immune system forms suitable antibodies and helper cells in order to be able to react as quickly as possible in the event of a possible infection. The antibodies are directed against the real virus.

Antibodies do not attack placenta protein

Opponents of vaccination claim that the antibodies could also attack the important protein syncytin-1 and potentially cause infertility as a result.

During pregnancy, syncytin-1 is responsible for the formation of the placenta, which is located in the uterus. The placenta supplies the embryo with nutrients and oxygen. Without the placenta, the baby cannot be nourished.

The concern: If the placenta protein were switched off due to the structural similarity, pregnancy would no longer be possible. A mix-up of proteins is particularly well-known due to  cross-allergies  : Allergy sufferers therefore often react to both birch pollen and apples. However, this is not the case with the corona vaccination.

Proteins  briefly explained: Proteins consist of long amino acid chains (sequences), which are usually represented as letters. An A can stand for alanine, for example, and an L for leucine. The coronavirus spike protein is made up of 1,273  amino acids  , while the placental protein syncytin-1 is made up of 538.

If you compare the sequences of both proteins, the similarity of the amino acids becomes clear:

  • Spikeprotein: VVNQN
  • Syncytin-1: VVLQN

Overall, however, there is only a structural similarity of 0.75 percent, which is not sufficient for antibodies to confuse them.

Other common viruses, such as the common cold virus, may also show slight parallels with the placenta protein. The corona vaccination does not make you infertile any more than a cold or  diarrhea .

Desire to have children is not endangered by corona infection

Even recovered women have antibodies against the spike protein, which protect the body from reinfection. Women who have already been infected with Corona give birth to healthy children. Studies show that both a survived corona infection and a vaccination have no negative effects on fertility and the course of pregnancy.

Cycle change not permanent

In addition to worries about pregnancy, many women report changes in their cycle and changes in menstruation. This is a temporary effect that can also occur with  colds  and other infections. Just like an infection, the vaccination triggers an immune reaction that can delay your period. Temperature changes and  fever  can also cause irregularities for a short time.

A corona infection during a possible pregnancy represents a significantly higher risk for mother and child than possible side effects from vaccination. Therefore, women who want to have children are advised to be vaccinated before a possible pregnancy.

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