Yes, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that all immunizations are updated prior to getting pregnant. Many women do not realize that their immunity from childhood vaccinations has waned and that they need a booster to boost their immunity to harmful infections. The Practice Committee for ASRM (the committee that creates guidelines for infertility doctors) states, Women of reproductive age are often unaware of their need for immunization, their own immunization status, and the potentially serious consequences of preventable disease on pregnancy outcome.
Some of the infections that have been previously eradicated by vaccinations are returning. These infections, if contracted during pregnancy, can harm the mother and her fetus. Thus, to protect someone who will be conceiving and their future children from harmful viruses, ASRM as well as the CDC recommends that all immunizations are current before getting pregnant.
Ideally, the vaccinations should bea completed prior to conceiving as some of the recommended vaccinations cannot be administered safely during pregnancy. ASRM states, Vaccinations before or during pregnancy protect women from potentially serious illnesses and confer both resistance to intrauterine infections and passive immunity to the newborn.
The following is a list of immunizations that should be updated before conceiving. These have been recommended by the CDC for women between the age of 19-45.
Not safe to be administered during pregnancy:
¢ Rubella (MMR)
¢ Influenza (Live attenuated virus) given as an intranasal dose
Safe to be administered during pregnancy: (But ideally performed before pregnancy)
¢ Influenza (Inactivated virus) given as an injection
¢ Tetanus-diphtheriapertussis (Tdap) or Combined toxoid
¢ Hepatitis A
¢ Hepatitis B
If you find that you need a booster shot of one of the above vaccines prior to getting pregnant, make sure you get your vaccine at least 30 days before conceiving. If you get one of the vaccines listed above during pregnancy, the ASRM states that there is no evidence that inadvertent administration of any of the listed vaccines during pregnancy should be the sole basis for a decision to terminate pregnancy.
National standards for vaccinations have been established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are available for review on the CDC website page for vaccines and pregnancy.
Source: Fertility and Sterility, Volume 90, Issue 5, Page S169-71, November 2008, Authors: Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Dr. Lowell T. Ku, M.D. is a leading Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at Dallas IVF, one the nation’s premiere infertility centers. Dr. Ku clarifies the many confusing terms used in the world of Infertility using straightforward explanations.