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COVID-19 Vaccine, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and PCOS

Published on Jun 03, 2021   -  3 min read

Abstract

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.

Contents
COVID-19 Vaccine, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and PCOS

Introduction:

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.

When Can Lactating Women Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

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.

Is It Safe to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine During Menstruation?

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.

Can Women Who Are Trying to Get Pregnant Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

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.

Should APLA Positive Women Stop Blood Thinners Before Getting Vaccinated?

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.

Can Women With PCOS and Those Taking Contraceptive Pills Get Vaccinated?

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.

Menopausal, Perimenopausal, and Women with Comorbidities:

Menopausal and perimenopausal women, women with fibroids, endometriosis, comorbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, asthma, etc., can get vaccinated without any doubt.

What Are the COVID-19 Vaccine Contraindications for Women?

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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Last reviewed at:
03 Jun 2021  -  3 min read

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