A prospective cohort study of COVID-19 vaccination, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and fertility

Abstract

Some reproductive-aged individuals remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 due to concerns about potential adverse effects on fertility. We examined the associations of COVID-19 vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection with fertility among couples trying to conceive spontaneously using data from an internet-based preconception cohort study. We enrolled 2,126 self-identified females residing in the U.S. or Canada during December 2020-September 2021 and followed them through November 2021. Participants completed questionnaires every 8 weeks on sociodemographics, lifestyle, medical factors, and partner information. We fit proportional probabilities regression models to estimate associations between self-reported COVID-19 vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection in both partners with fecundability, the per-cycle probability of conception, adjusting for potential confounders. COVID-19 vaccination was not appreciably associated with fecundability in either partner (female FR=1.08, 95% CI: 0.95, 1.23; male FR=0.95, 95% CI: 0.83, 1.10). Female SARS-CoV-2 infection was not strongly associated with fecundability (FR=1.07, 95% CI: 0.87, 1.31). Male infection was associated with a transient reduction in fecundability (FR=0.82, 95% CI: 0.47, 1.45 for infection within 60 days; FR=1.16, 95% CI: 0.92, 1.47 for infection >60 days). These findings indicate that male SARS-CoV-2 infection may be associated with a short-term decline in fertility and that COVID-19 vaccination does not impair fertility in either partner.

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