by Robbie Owens | CBS 11
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Already pushed to the breaking point battling the latest Covid-19 surge, doctors are also busy fighting bad information about the vaccines, especially as it relates to impact on fertility.
“It goes like wildfire, on social media,” says Dr. Jay Herd, Chief Medical Officer, Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth. “People use it as an excuse but there’s no data to back it up.”
Other experts agree, adding that the most pressing fertility concern, should be Covid.
“And so, the risk is certainly there,” warns Dr. Emily Adhikari, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, “that if you get too sick from Covid, you may not recover, and your body may not be well enough to be ready to carry a pregnancy optimally.”
And doctors warn that Covid during pregnancy, can be “catastrophic.”
“We have a few in our ICUs right now that are not doing well,” explains Dr. Herd, “that we’ve had to not just intubating them, but they’ve been put ECMO machines, that’s the basically the heart lung machine because their lungs are so damaged, we can’t even intubate them. Babies don’t do well when they’re inside moms that are on ECMOs.”
Doctors say the best insurance for future reproductive health, is simply good health: and that advice includes women and men.
“We are seeing some short-term information coming out of our reproductive endocrinologists, which are the OB GYNs who specialize in infertility, that in males, at least, is that there is some issue with sperm quality for, for months, after having COVID,” explains Dr. Herd, “and also some issues with the female side too.”
Meanwhile, those warnings also come with reassurances for woman who say their menstrual cycles are ‘different’, post Covid.
“Sure, I mean anytime you get an illness like this there’s stress on the body, and then stress in general can affect the female side ovulation and those kinds of things,” explains Dr. Herd, “so we’re seeing people who post COVID or long COVID, we are seeing people with abnormal bleeding, and those kinds of issues.”
So, pre-pregnancy, post-pregnancy or just trying to survive the pandemic: the best medicine, experts say, is still prevention.
“Yes, absolutely,” says Dr. Adhikari. “There is no comparison. The vaccine is potentially lifesaving.”