Infertility risk and COVID-19 vaccine. Truth or myth? Leading expert explains. 8
Perhaps while we’re discussing the pregnancy and COVID-19 and vaccination, there is a persistent myth that keeps circulating about the fact that COVID-19 vaccination before pregnancy could affect a woman achieving pregnancy in the first place. You know, the characteristic of that kind of question is the characteristic of fake news. When you get fake news, the definition of that is that you have no answer. Otherwise, they wouldn’t put it forward. This is put forward because there is no answer to that. There is no evidence whatsoever, not the slightest evidence that COVID-19 vaccination could affect fertility. There is not the slightest evidence even in the most elaborate theories. So the simple answer is no. Dr. Yves Ville, MD. But what demonstration can you bring? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Nothing. You can’t bring any demonstration to fake news. It’s based on nothing. So obviously, there is no rational answer to that. Well, that’s very important to hear from a real expert, as you are the expert. A pregnant woman could be infected with the COVID-19 virus, but perinatal COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is not frequent. What is important to know about covid 19 infections and pregnancy? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. What is the risk of congenital malformations in an unborn child due to COVID-19 infection in the mother? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Well, this question is current. And if you had asked it only eight months ago, answers would have probably been different. Now, what is important is to be insisting on the fact that pregnant women should be treated like anyone else, not less treated, not less considered. There is no benefit to prevent or not expose women to the COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant women should be vaccinated against COVID-19. The earlier, the better. First-trimester vaccination. You know, pregnant women in the world are the individuals that are the less well looked after. When a hairdresser knows that a client is pregnant, the hairdresser is calling the obstetrician. Can I give her a hair dye? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Yeah, why not? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. She’s pregnant. Okay. A dentist asks, can I treat a tooth while she’s pregnant? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Yeah, well, you better. I mean, pregnant women in the first trimester are the kind of people with whom you should not interact. Why is that? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Because a pregnant woman in the first trimester has a one in four risks of losing the pregnancy. Whatever she does, she opens the windows, and she breathes the air from the mountain. She has the same risk as going to the hairdresser, the dentist, and vaccination with COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t increase the risk of anything. And there is now the biggest registry from the US. Over 35,000 women are vaccinated at once against COVID-19, and there is no increased risk of anything. So the risk for the pregnant woman is actually to get COVID-19. This risk is not only for yourself. Especially it could be very severe if she’s well advanced in the pregnancy. Dr. Yves Ville, MD. But with this COVID-19 strain, the latest strain, the Delta variant, what we’ve observed is extreme toxicity to the placenta. So even in women with a mild COVID-19, a couple of weeks later, we’ve seen intrauterine death. We’ve seen acute fetal distress in the third trimester. And when you look at the placenta, the placenta is essentially destroyed by the COVID-19 virus. So there is much more risk not to be vaccinated and get COVID than not. And people should be aware that with this latest Delta strain, the next one will be even worse, hopefully not. Even if the woman is not very symptomatic itself, within two or three weeks after that, the COVID-19 Delta virus can get can have got to the placenta at the time of the acute infection and gradually destroy the placenta. What we’ve looked at, we’ve looked at the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 in the placenta, trophoblast in the first trimester. And we looked at organs from specimens from the pathology, organs from different stages of development of the fetus, the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 we found only in the kidneys, in the gut, and the placenta. And late in the pregnancy, SARS-CoV-2 receptor was found in the lungs. This, to us is very reassuring in terms of malformation risk, because these are very unlikely to be destroyed or damaged by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. At the same time, a placenta has SARS-CoV-2 receptors from very early on. The placenta could be affected and destroyed at any time. So vaccination is the answer for pregnant women even more than for people who are not pregnant. And if women get SARS-CoV-2, they recover. They should be very careful in the follow-up for fetal growth. Because of the placenta is hit by the virus and it is not lethal, it could affect fetal growth. And one should be very, very aware of the risk of fetal distress.
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