All approved Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are effective and safe for all women, including lactating and pregnant women. Read the article to know if lactating, breastfeeding, and women with comorbidities should get vaccinated.
With so many medicines contraindicated in pregnancy, women, especially pregnant or breastfeeding, are refraining from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Fear of the approved vaccines affecting the growing fetus or child is enough to discourage women from getting vaccinated. When it comes to coronavirus preventive measures, getting vaccinated is as important as wearing a mask, using a hand sanitizer, social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
So much misinformation is doing the rounds in social media and news channels that it is high time that women, with or without any gynecological conditions, know the truth about these vaccines and how they can or cannot affect their health. This article discusses what doctors advise pregnant women, breastfeeding women, perimenopausal and menopausal women, and patients with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and other conditions on getting the COVID-19 vaccines.
Lactating women, irrespective of normal delivery or cesarean section, can get vaccinated. But due to some practical difficulties and the bodily conditions of lactating women, some doctors usually advise them to wait for four to six weeks after delivery and be cautious until they get vaccinated. Irrespective of any comorbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or any other complications present, all lactating women can get vaccinated. The waiting period of four to six weeks is for their body to recover and get comfortable. Still, it is advised that new mothers consult a gynecologist within those four to six weeks and then get vaccinated. Doctors encourage all women above the age of 18 to get vaccinated.
There are messages being forwarded that women should not get the COVID-19 vaccine during menstruation. This is completely untrue. COVID-19 vaccine can be taken before, during, and after menstruation. Some women are already uncomfortable during menstruation due to heavy blood flow, frequent change of pads, dysmenorrhea, etc. So getting vaccinated during that time can worsen this discomfort due to mild vaccine side effects like fever, pain at the site and hand of injection, body pain, etc. So to avoid such uncomfortable feelings, it is advised only for such women to get vaccinated either before or after their period. Otherwise, there is no relation between the menstrual cycle and getting vaccinated.
There are no proven scientific reasons for contraindication of the COVID-19 vaccine in women trying to conceive naturally or by fertility treatments. But, there are no significant studies to find out the effect of the vaccine in a developing fetus during the organogenesis period (the first three months when the fetus's organs are formed). Hence it is good to get pregnant after three weeks of the second dose of the vaccine.
According to doctors, everyone's priority should be to get vaccinated and put an end to this pandemic and then try to conceive. Once you know you are safe from the horrible complications of COVID-19, you can peacefully welcome your baby to this world.
APLA (antiphospholipid antibodies) positive women under Ecosprin (Aspirin) or oral blood thinners (as they are prone to develop clots in the arteries or veins) can get vaccinated without any doctor's consultation. But if they are under injectable anticoagulant therapy, doctor consultation and some blood tests are advised.
Though vaccination is not a contraindication in such women, blood tests are done only to look at specific parameters as the COVID-19 vaccine is injected intramuscularly. Also, maybe your doctor can advise skipping a dose of anticoagulant after getting the vaccination. So a doctor consultation is a must for APLA positive women under injectable anticoagulant therapy before vaccination.
In women under treatment for PCOS, irregular period, and ovarian cysts who take contraceptive pills in the long term, the COVID-19 vaccine may cause minute blood clots in the bloodstream (no proven major studies conducted yet). Hence even to avoid the rarest complication, some doctors recommend stopping oral contraceptive pills for a month before vaccination. The percentage of blood clot forming tendency of contraceptive pills and COVID-19 infection is so much more than the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pregnant women are contraindicated from getting the vaccine in India. When the Ministry of Health gives the nod, we will start giving vaccines to pregnant women also. Pregnant doctors and other pregnant women are getting vaccinated out of their interest.
People with active genital infection, fever, or those previously allergic to some vaccine are advised to get a doctor consultation and get vaccinated.
The more we get vaccinated, the more controlled the third wave will be. The future and safety of our lives are in our hands. Avoid believing fake news and myths and choose to get vaccinated to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Breastfeeding is very important for the health of mothers and babies. But the Covid 19 vaccine guidelines have not included breastfeeding and pregnant women. Considering the side effects caused by the mRNA vaccines or non-replicating vaccines. But vaccination can be given if breastfeeding mothers are a high-risk group like health workers.
Pregnancy is an important phase in a woman's life. It is essential to take care throughout the journey. Eating a healthy diet with high fiber, whole grains, and a low carbohydrate diet is essential if pregnant with PCOS. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcoholic beverages, and regular medical checkups help a woman's safety.
Currently, there is no proper evidence that the COVID vaccine or vaccine ingredients or antibodies cause fertility problems or issues in getting pregnant now or in the future. In 2021 CDC issued new data that shows recent COVID vaccines are safe for pregnant women.
Many women have experienced many menstrual cycle changes after the COVID-19 vaccine, including short and longer durations and missed cycles. Some women also observed changes in menstrual flow, including heavy or light menstrual flow, and some women with light spotting.
Pregnancy with PCOS is considered a high-risk pregnancy with certain complications and problems during pregnancy. Infants born from mothers with PCOS spend most of their time in the neonatal ICU after birth, or some infants may experience death after birth or before birth.
Lack or deficiency of prolactin may result in low or excess milk production. Women with PCOS during pregnancy may have low prolactin, affecting breast milk supply. Certain treatments and medications may help to increase breast milk production. In women with PCOS, proper treatment and medical care are required throughout the pregnancy.
Most women with PCOS during pregnancy, with proper lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and treatments, may have a successful pregnancy rate. Even though the success rate is high, it is essential to take proper care throughout the pregnancy.
Recent advanced studies have confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in breastmilk which can neutralize both the early pandemic variant of SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron variant. Moreover, studies showed that mRNA vaccines have improved maternal immune responses and provide protection in babies passively.
During pregnancy, mother-to-child transmission of COVID virus is not noticed, but after the birth, the infection from the mother, caregivers, and hospital surroundings can affect the child. Vaccination during pregnancy may also not affect the fetus.
PCOS during pregnancy may result in many complications and congenital defects in infants. But with lifestyle changes such as dietary changes and proper medical treatment and medical care, there are chances of having a healthy baby during pregnancy.
In women with PCOS during pregnancy, you may need to continue the treatment and manage the symptoms even after the baby's delivery. The hormonal changes during pregnancy may take some time to settle down, and proper care and treatment must be continued a few months after childbirth until the hormonal levels are balanced.
Pregnancy with PCOS is considered a high-risk pregnancy with certain complications and problems during pregnancy. Congenital and or birth defects are highly seen in women with PCOS during pregnancy. Some of the infants may also die during or after birth.
Low and fat-free milk, such as fortified soy, oat, and Almond milk, is recommended in women with PCOS. Few studies have shown a positive relationship between low-fat-free milk and PCOS. Oat milk is also in low levels of proteins but provides a good percentage of nutrients.
Women with PCOS may have phenotypes that affect the sex ratio of the infants, which proves that environmental factors play a major role in determining gender in the fetus, not PCOS, an endocrine disorder.PCOS can come up with various birth defects in infants.
Last reviewed at:
03 Jan 2022 - 3 min read
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