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VERIFY: Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause fertility problems?

Doctors say a viral claim stating the COVID-19 shot causes issues for people who want to get pregnant is a myth. Here's why.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some people are still on the fence about the COVID-19 vaccine, and one reason centers on a viral claim that states the shot can impact a person's fertility.

Dr. Jane Kelly, Assistant State Epidemiologist with South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control, says this is a claim that doctors hear frequently.

The Question

Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause fertility problems?

The Answer

No. Doctors say there is no evidence to support claims that the vaccine causes problems for people who want to have a child.

"Don't be fooled by pseudoscience and conspiracy theories," Kelly said. "Vaccines do not decrease your fertility or cause sterility."

Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease specialist with Novant Health, says the myth's origin stems from a claim about vaccinated people shedding the virus's spike protein.

"Essentially, people are inaccurately saying and unfortunately believing that people who have had the vaccine can shed the spike protein and that this causes menstrual cycle irregularities, miscarriages, and sterility in women," Priest said. "That's simply not true. There's no evidence to support that myth."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assurances about fertility safety do not just apply to the COVID-19 shot. It applies to any vaccine.

The CDC states, "If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems—problems trying to get pregnant."

Credit: CDC

In fact, there is seemingly more evidence to the contrary.

"We know in the Pfizer trials, women became pregnant during those studies, and there wasn't a single report of pregnancy loss in anyone who got the real vaccine. There was one pregnancy loss in a person who got the placebo," Priest said.

Contact Vanessa Ruffes at vruffes@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.