While you might want to stay up to date on your vaccines especially during the flu season, when doing IVF you might want to take a few things under consideration. Flu shots might impact the outcome of in-vitro fertilization.
In-Vitro Fertilization Overview
This endeavor, sometimes abbreviated as IVF, is a combination of several medical procedures designed to help women stricken with fertility issues increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
To begin the process, a fertilization specialist collects mature eggs from the woman’s ovaries. The reproductive components are then fertilized by the sperm of either the subject’s partner or a donor inside of a laboratory. Once the fertilization process is complete, embryos are transferred to the recipient’s uterus. After this final step, the subject waits to see if she becomes pregnant.
Success is far from guaranteed and hinges on many different factors such as the recipient’s age, the underlying condition precipitating the fertility struggles and the severity of the fertility issues.
The Impact of Flu Shots
With the calendar now smack dab in the middle of the winter season, many individuals, including women of child-rearing age, opt to receive a flu shot to prevent becoming sickened by a number of influenza virus strains. However, some flu vaccines have been reported to have potentially serious side effects such as an increased risk for miscarriages and the capacity to lessen the effectiveness of fertility treatments.
Such knowledge leaves women who are undergoing IVF or considering it wondering whether obtaining an influenza inoculation can have a negative effect on fertility-enhancing efforts.
The Opinion of Physicians and Reproductive Specialists
Many physicians and fertility specialists believe that flu shots are generally safe for individuals undergoing IVF. They caution that much of the information propagated regarding flu shots and fertility treatments is erroneous and that there is no substantial empirical evidence supporting these claims.
The Dangers of Influenza to Pregnant Women
Numerous doctors actually opine that a flu shot could prove beneficial to women undergoing IVF. The shot contains antibodies that the recipient would pass to her unborn child in the event she became pregnant. Moreover, pregnant women stricken with the flu stand at greater risk of developing potentially serious complications that could place the health of both mother and baby in peril.
Discuss Concerns With a Medical Professional
Despite the fact that many physicians claim that flu shots should not have a significant effect on fertility treatments or on fetal development if the treatments are successful, some women might still have reservations about getting vaccinated.
Those with reservations are encouraged to consult with their family physicians or fertility specialists. These professionals can perform a thorough medical evaluation, help an IVF recipient weigh the pros and cons and render a decision most befitting the woman’s health and her future child.
Women who remain unconvinced might choose to employ other flu-prevention tips:
- Avoid Contact With Ailing People – This might not always be easy, especially for individuals who work in or frequent establishments with large numbers of people. However, avoiding as many of such places as possible, especially from late fall through early spring, might reduce one’s chances of contracting the influenza virus.
- Wash Hands Frequently – Consistently washing one’s hands with warm water and soap has proven effective in eradicating many germs.
- Wash Contact Surfaces Often – Microbes typically collect on frequently touched surfaces like countertops. These locations should be thoroughly and routinely cleaned with disinfectant products.
- Refrain From Touching Eyes, Mouth and Nose – These parts of the face are among the most direct ways for microbes to enter the body. Thus, individuals should refrain from touching these features unless their hands have recently been scrubbed with soap or some other disinfectant.