Influenza (flu) for most people results in a “bad cold”. But certain populations have higher risks of a serious flu related illness requiring hospitalization including pregnant women. The CDC recommends all pregnant and breast-feeding women receive the flu vaccine early season when first available.
Therefore, we highly recommend it to all our patients undergoing fertility treatment to achieve pregnancy. A recent 2018 study showed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40 percent. A list of recent studies on the benefits of flu vaccination for pregnant women is available.
The flu vaccine can be given as an intranasal mist or injection. The intranasal mist is a live, attenuated form and contraindicated in pregnancy. The injection is the form that is safe to take in pregnancy.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic the recommendations of receiving the flu are more important than ever! These illnesses “look alike” and diminishing incidence of the flu will be critical to assessing and treating those with COVID-19. We recommend this strongly for all patients undergoing fertility treatment, their partners/spouses/family members and our staff.
Vaccines are safe and developed with the highest safety standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves all vaccines. The CDC continues to monitor all vaccines after they are approved. They have been used for many years in millions of pregnant women and are not known to cause pregnancy problems or birth defects.
Recommendations for flu vaccination is supported by ACOG.