Samaritan OB/GYN Weighs In On Vaccine, Women’s Health

As of June 28, 65.7 % of Oregonians 16 and older have received at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. However, in order to achieve Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s reopening goal  requiring 70% vaccinations, we still need about 50,000 vaccinations to be given. Among the vaccine-hesitant, many women are at the forefront – putting off getting the jab as talk of fertility-related side effects continues to disperse on social media.   

Numerous women have reported changes in their menstrual cycles after receiving the second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. A recent article by ABC 7 in April shared several women’s experiences.  

I received the Moderna vaccine in January and February. I didn’t get my period for 3 months,” one woman wrote. They did multiple blood test, pregnancy test and ultrasounds but everything came back normal. Then finally on April 4 I got my period and it’s been super heavy for the past 22 days non-stop.” 

Dr. Heather Huddleston, UCSF OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinology expert weighed in with ABC 7 reporter Kate Larsen on the subject.  

“It’s very possible that just the stress or maybe disrupted sleep or potentially some disrupted body temperatures, all of those things could have led to something in the menstrual cycle getting a little thrown off for a month,” said Huddleston.   

Here in Corvallis, The Advocate reached out to the Samaritan Obstetrics Department in efforts to ease the minds of women in Benton County.  

“Reports insinuating impacts have been widely circulated on social media,” said Andrea McCann, MD of Samaritan Obstetrics and Gynecology in Corvallis.  

McCann added that the American College of Obstetrics and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine agree that the claims lack factual evidence. Additionally, McCann noted that disruptions in menstruation are not necessarily correlated with infertility. Therefore, despite these allegations, she advises all of her patients to vaccinate.  

“We know that COVID-19 can cause serious illness and death,” said McCann. “We know that there are folks with long term health effects, referred to as the long-haulers. And we now know the vaccine is safe.”  

McCann added that the Moderna vaccine is offered in her clinic to all patients, including pregnant patients and those actively seeking pregnancy.  

“The last thing I want,” said McCann, “is to lose a pregnant momma and her unborn baby to COVID-19.”  

By: Rebekah Harcrow