BONUS 290: COVID Vaccine, Infertility & Pregnancy

December 18, 2020

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Allison Rodgers. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Rodgers currently practices at the Fertility Centers of Illinois. Her personal experiences with both secondary infertility and pregnancy loss have given her a unique insight into reproductive medicine in order to help you beat infertility.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:

  • Jessica, 28, has never been pregnant in five years of trying. She has hypothyroidism treated with medications, and her doctor recommends IVF with high doses of medications and additional hormone tests. She asks if her thyroid is the real issue and if IVF with high-dose meds is the best route to take.
  • Kathryn, 41, has done four embryo banking cycles but only has two normal embryos. She asks about her chances of pregnancy and a safe number of embryos to bank. She also asks if she should have ERA and Receptiva tests before her transfer and if a lengthy stim protocol could harm her egg quality.
  • Sarah, 36, had a chemical pregnancy on her fourth transfer of a normal embryo. She’s had an ERA, and a laparoscopy for endometriosis and only has one normal embryo left. She asks what further tests she should have done.
  • Julia, 33, suspects DOR based on her FSH and AMH numbers, but she hasn’t been diagnosed. She asks if her ovaries are failing.
  • Jennifer, 39, likes her doctors, but her transfers keep failing. She asks at what point she should consider switching clinics.
  • Noa, 33, has had several chemical pregnancies and a failed IUI. Her first doctor diagnosed her with unexplained infertility, but her second found endometriosis, blood clotting issues, and mosaicism. Her first IVF yielded 19 eggs, but only four fertilized with ICSI. She asks why she has a low fertilization rate and why the doctor said her eggs looked “overcooked.”

Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing the implications of the COVID vaccine for the infertility community:

  • It’s been a while since we last recorded a COVID episode. Do we know anything new about how COVID might impact a pregnancy or the fetus?
  • What do we know about the newly approved COVID vaccine here in the U.S.?
  • How did scientists develop the vaccine so quickly?
  • People traditionally against taking vaccines have claimed it will cause infertility. A few questions:
    • What aspect of the vaccine originated these concerns?
    • What do the experts say?
    • What did the trials show?
  • Should women trying to conceive get the vaccine? Why or why not? (new ASRM statement)
  • Should pregnant women get the vaccine? Why or why not? (SMFM statement)
  • Should nursing mothers get the vaccine? Why or why not? (new SMFM statement)
  • What does ASRM have to say about COVID or the vaccine? Their guidance has evolved quite a bit since their first statement in March. (new ASRM statement)
  • Is it possible COVID will become a seasonal disease, like influenza?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • What words of hope would you offer to infertility warriors who are concerned about the COVID vaccine?

Have a question you want Dr. Rodgers to answer next time she’s on? Click here.

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Thanks for listening!

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