Updated Vaccine Guidelines for Female Infertility Patients: ASRM
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has issued new
recommendations regarding vaccinations for
women of reproductive ages, updating previous guidelines issued in 2008.
new guidelines offer the gynecologist a reminder that they can hang on their
wall, according to, Dr. Samantha Pfeifer, MD, who led the study and is an
associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
If possible, patients should receive vaccinations before conception,
the guidelines say. However, most recommended adult vaccines can be administered
even during pregnancy, the guidelines say.
Influenza during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, and the high, sustained fever some women experience with the flu increase the risk of the birth defect spina bifida.
The committee issued the following recommendations:
MMR and varicella vaccines should not be administered during
pregnancy, and women should avoid pregnancy for one month after
vaccination. There are no documented cases of congenital malformation
associated with MMR, but there are reports of congenital varicella after
immunization. Other vaccines to be avoided are intranasal (but not
injectable) influenza, and herpes zoster vaccines, which are live attenuated
Flu shots are recommended even during pregnancy. However, nasal
influenza vaccine spray contains live attenuated virus and should not be
given during pregnancy.
Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, has been suggested as a
possible health risk, but there is no evidence to back the fears. Pregnant
women can receive shots with thimerosal, the committee says. (The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came to the same conclusion in a
study reported in 2010 in Pediatrics, in which it concluded that "prenatal
and infant exposure to vaccines and immunoglobulins that contain thimerosal
does not increase risk for autism spectrum disorder.")
Because of the recent upsurge in pertussis infection among infants, it
is recommended that all adults aged between 19 and 64 years receive Tdap if
they have not previously been immunized. Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis
vaccination is recommended to adults who are in contact with infants. If
it is administered during pregnancy, it should be given after 20 weeks of
Non-routine vaccinations should be administered to
women who have risk factors for the respective diseases.
Pneumococcus and hepatitis A and B vaccines
pose no known risks to the fetus as they contain
no live virus . The
same holds for the meningococcus vaccine, but the literature on this one is
limited, the committee says.
Meningococcal vaccine should be administered before pregnancy, as
experience during pregnancy is limited.
In summary, the authors recommend that physicians be aware of women's
immunization status before pregnancy and update her vaccine status as
Dated 16 October 2012