28 Apr Vaccination Guidelines for Female Infertility Patients
Many women are often unaware of what vaccines are safe during pregnancy or if they are required. A recent study found that only 60% of obstetrician-gynecologists ask about immunization during visits. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have established guidelines for vaccination.
Women of reproductive age are often unaware of the serious consequences of preventable diseases on pregnancy outcome. Many physicians do not immunize pregnant women because of concerns about incidental congenital anomaly or spontaneous abortion could be attributed to the vaccine. This fear remains despite the fact that few vaccines are contraindicated during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, vaccines are indicated when the benefits outweigh the risks. Certain circumstances influence the indication for a particular vaccine, such as travel to a high prevalence area, military service, hazardous occupations, having a chronic illness, or immune-compromise. Only three vaccines are contraindicated during pregnancy. These include:
- Mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR)
- Herpes zoster
- Varicella (Varivax)
- Tdap – Should be given during the late second trimester or third trimester. Tdap is approved for adults ages 19-64 years who have or who anticipate being in close contact with a child age 12 months or younger.
- Pneumococcus – Only indicated during pregnancy in special circumstances, and should be given before pregnancy if possible.
- Hepatitis A and B – Only indicated during pregnancy in special circumstances, and should be administered before pregnancy if possible.
- Meningococcus – Only indicated during pregnancy in special circumstances, and should be administered before pregnancy if possible.
- MMR – Should be given before pregnancy, and recommended for all women who do not have documented immunity to rubella.
- Varicella – Should be given to all women before pregnancy to all women without documented immunity. Pregnancy should be avoided until one month after vaccination.
- Influenza – Should be given to all pregnant women, as influenza infection increases the risk for certain medical problems and poses harm to the unborn child. The intranasal vaccine should not be given during pregnancy because it is a live attenuated vaccine.
Your Vaccination History
It is important for both the male and the female partner to keep an accurate record of immunizations. Share this information with your prenatal healthcare provider or Denver fertility specialist, who can help determine which vaccines are required during pregnancy.
If the doctor does not have your record, ask your parents if they still have your school immunization records. You may need to contact the school to get a copy of the record. In addition, you can contact previous healthcare providers who may have given you vaccines, such as ER departments and primary care centers.
Most Important Vaccine for Women Planning Pregnancy
Rubella infection for pregnant women can lead to serious birth defects for the baby. The baby could be born with life-long, devastating consequences due to the vaccine. Rubella infection can also cause miscarriage.
Before planning pregnancy, you should have a blood test to see if you are immune to rubella (German measles). Most women are vaccinated with the MMR vaccine during childhood, but a booster may be required. After getting vaccinated with MMR, you should avoid pregnancy for one month and wait until immunity is confirmed with a blood test.