GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's a question we get all the time, does the COVID-19 vaccine impact women's health? In today's 2 Your Well-Being, we break down what you need to know about the vaccine's impact during pregnancy, its effect on infertility, and more.
Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith is Cone Health's Chief Medical Officer for Women's Health. She said they do not believe the COVID-19 vaccine has any impact on a woman's chances of becoming pregnant in the future. She said the vaccine itself doesn't go into the nucleus of the cell. It instead goes into the body and activates your immune systems. In 30 days, the material from the vaccine is gone and it doesn't go into any part of the cell that changes the make of the cell.
Dr. Harraway-Smith said they do not believe the vaccine has any effect on a growing fetus. She said they have not seen any adverse effects in anyone attempting to get pregnant, already pregnant, giving birth, or breastfeeding.
So is it riskier being pregnant with COVID-19 or getting the vaccine while pregnant? Dr. Harraway-Smith said you have to look at the numbers. The chances of getting really ill from COVID-19 are not that high in the typical OB patient who is young and healthy. However, if one gets sick from COVID-19 the chances of having serious symptoms are much greater. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.
When it comes to mammograms, Dr. Harraway-Smith said the vaccine could impact your test results but it does not increase your chances of getting breast cancer. The vaccines can cause swollen lymph nodes in some people. When your radiologist sees a swollen lymph node during a mammogram, that can be a cause for concern and warrants a follow-up exam. Dr. Harraway-Smith recommends waiting several weeks to get your yearly mammogram if you just received the COVID-19 vaccine. If you're having a mammogram to check something that is concerning in another test, Dr. Harraway-Smith said you should not put it off because it could delay possible treatment.