Adults are more likely than children to be unaware of their vaccination status, or to know that they need to be vaccinated for certain illnesses. Fertility treatment requires frequent doctors’ appointments where a person’s overall and fertility health are discussed. For some women, this provides the optimal time to discuss their immunizations. Being fully vaccinated can increase a woman’s ability to fight certain illnesses as well as to provide a stronger immune foundation for their growing child.
Timeline for Vaccinations
Ideally, women will be complete and current with their immunizations before pregnancy. The same is true for the period of time while a woman is undergoing fertility treatment. The main reason for this time frame is because some immunizations should not be administered during pregnancy. There are many immunizations that are safe to be given during pregnancy. However, many doctors do not offer these immunizations as they are concerned that issues during the pregnancy while be blamed on the vaccination – even though research does not support that belief.
Vaccinations during Pregnancy
There are some vaccinations that are highly recommended for pregnant women. The first is the injectable version of the influenza vaccine. Ideally given during October or November, the influenza vaccine affords protection both to the mother and the developing child. Another vaccination that is often suggested is the Tdap vaccine which protects against pertussis, the cause of whooping cough. It is advised for women who are in their third trimester. If a woman is not current with the vaccine and does not get it during pregnancy, she should be vaccinated after birth. This protects her from developing pertussis, and more importantly, from passing it down to her baby.
Immunizations to Avoid During IVF
There are several vaccinations that should not be administered to pregnant women. These vaccinations should also be avoided by women who are undergoing IVF treatment to avoid the risk of harm to both the pregnancy and fetus. Immunizations to avoid during IVF include:
- The nasal version of influenza
- Herpes zoster
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