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Valley doctor says COVID-19 vaccine will not impact periods or fertility

(Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Rumors have circulated for decades about what causes infertility and has an impact on menstrual cycles.

That has continued today with false information on social media causing concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine as reputable scientific sources work to debunk the rumors.

“The vaccine doesn’t have any mechanism to directly affect menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or fertility – but it does provide an immune response,” Division Medical Director and OBGYN for Banner Health Dr. Pooja Shah told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Shah has seen an increase in that very question being asked since 12- to 15-year-olds have become eligible for the vaccine.

Although the concern seems to have shifted with the focus on teenage girls, the science doesn’t change.

“The conversation really remains the same except now instead of just having the conversation with the adult who’s getting the vaccine, we’re also having the conversation with both the patient and their parent or guardian,” Shah said.

Although there is no evidence to show that COVID-19 or the vaccine will impact fertility or the menstrual cycle, Shah has seen a major change in some women’s cycles throughout the pandemic.

“It was really independent of them either having the COVID infection or getting the COVID vaccine and it’s because the menstrual cycle is really sensitive to lots of different stressors in life,” Shah said.

Those stressors could have been anything from being forced to work from home, the added task of helping children with distanced learning, or worrying about loved ones at high-risk for COVID-19.

Shah described some women’s cycles are impacted by exercise and when the shutdown happened, many stopped working out because gyms were closed.

Although stress brought on by the pandemic changed the normalcy of some women’s cycles, Shad said its normal to have a change brought on by stress.

Shad continues to encourage women and eligible teenage girls to get the COVD-19 vaccine.

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For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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