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It is a question we get all of the time. Does the COVID-19 vaccine impact Women's Health? And how in today's to your well being, we're going to break down what you need to know about the vaccines impact during pregnancy, its effect on fertility, anmore cone health Chief Medical officer for Women's Health Doctor Carolyn Harraway Smith joins us now. First, we're going to talk about infertility because that is a question that we get all the time. Could the COVID-19 vaccine impact a womans chances? Of becoming pregnant. So Tanya, we do hear about that a lot. That's a big question. I don't even know where the origins are from. But no, the answer is no.

We do not believe that the Covid vaccine has any effect at all on a woman's chances of getting pregnant. OK, and do we have a reason as to why we don't think that? We do so. The vaccine itself doesn't go into the nucleus or the brain of the cell, and in fact, the way that the vaccine works is a vaccine goes into the body and the body's immune system or its army is activated by these chemicals. And then the Army is left to do the fighting, and within 30 days the material from the vaccine is actually gone, so it doesn't go into.

Any part of the cell that changes the nature or the makeup of the cell? Alright, so if you're already pregnant, what effect, if any, would the vaccine have on the baby? So we don't believe that the vaccine has any effect on a growing fetus either. So on in patients who are wanting to get pregnant or attempting to get pregnant, the vaccine is still safe. We have seen no adverse effect on those planning to get pregnant. Those attempting to get pregnant, those in early pregnancy, or those in late pregnancy with the Covid vaccine, right? And so this is a question that we've heard very often. Is it riskier? Being pregnant with covid or getting the vaccine while pregnant? So that's a really good question as well, and the way to answer that is to kind of go back and look at the numbers. So the chances of getting really, really ill from Covid is not that high in the typical OB patient who is young and healthy.

However, if one gets sick from covid. The chances of getting much sicker in pregnancy are a lot greater, so when you add that to someone who might have other what we call comorbidities or other medical problems like obesity or high blood pressure or diabetes or any other medical conditions, that rate of risk goes up even higher. So when we look at patients who are who have complications from covid, a lot of these have these other conditions. But again, we compare a pregnant versus a non pregnant patient who gets woman who gets covid. The chances of having a worse outcome is greater if the mother is that person is pregnant. OK so then the next questions would be about like the moms who are breastfeeding right now. What should they know about the code of COVID-19 vaccine? Should they be getting it? So it's safe to get the vaccine while breast feeding as well. We don't recommend any treatment of a breastfeeding mom.

That's different from any other patient. We do not believe that any component of the virus is transmitted through the breast milk, and so it's very safe to get while pregnant while breastfeeding or pregnant, right? So you really laid out how safe it is for those who want to be pregnant or are pregnant, or have just delivered and have a newborn there. So what advice then would you have for those parents to be that are still just a little unsure about getting that vaccine? So I think one of the reasons that we recommend that if their questions talk to your doctor, not so that they can give you permission to take the vaccine versus not take the vaccine. But they may help you to get a better idea of what your actual risk is if you were to get sick. One of the things that I think is a benefit that we're finding is when you look at mothers who've actually had a covid infection.

There's plenty of evidence that the actual antibodies. Or the protective chemicals from the virus are transmitted through the placenta to the mother, and so that's a promising thing. We don't know how much the vaccine will affect that, or how long that will last, but that's something that's also very good. The idea that getting the vaccine would also protect the fetus is very promising. All right, let's switch kind of things and go to a different part of Women's Health. Let's talk about mammograms now, because what should women know about the COVID-19 vaccine and the mammogram? Because that has been talked about a lot as well. So I think the most important thing to understand is that the covid vaccine does not increase the risk of breast cancer at all.

There's no evidence to support that, however. Some women, when they get the vaccine, can develop lymph nodes. Remember, I said earlier that the vaccine literally stimulates your body to create an army or antibodies to fight against this virus and that army is produced in glands called lymph nodes, and those lymph nodes can swell after getting the vaccine. And some of the lymph nodes that can swell or under the arm, those are called the axillary lymph nodes. It doesn't happen very often, but if it does happen right before a mammogram, then that lymph node may look abnormal and require additional testing, and so we're not necessarily recommending that women not get mammograms at the time of the vaccine.

However, if there's any concern about getting additional testing, then you may want to consider getting the mammogram, especially if it's in a screening mammogram. 46 weeks after the vaccine or getting the mammogram before the vaccine, just to avoid any additional testing that might be required alright. And of course, if you can't move your appointment because you know sometimes doctors are booked out for so long, you should at least let your doctor know that you've just had that vaccine exactly. If there isn't a swollen lymph node that they see, they're still going to request an additional study. But again, if that appointment and it for a screening mammogram. It certainly can be moved 46 weeks. That's not a big deal. Now if it's what's called a diagnostic mammogram, so they seen something from before, and somehow you got the vaccine, please don't delay on getting a mammogram that's required for an abnormal finding, but if it's just for a screening mammogram, go ahead and delay that four to six weeks so that there's not a problem. Alright, so any final thoughts about the COVID-19 vaccine with regards to women and Women's Health specifically? I think it's very important to know that although pregnant women weren't in the initial studies right now, pregnant women are being put in those studies, so we can have more information coming out.

But everything that we've seen so far, all the data supports that the Covid vaccine is pregnant in, excuse me is safe in pregnancy safe if you're planning to get pregnant, safe in your early pregnancy and again one of the more important things is if you are going to get sick from covid. The chances of getting sicker when you're pregnant is greater, so getting that vaccine, especially if you have any Chronicle medical conditions, is a good idea. OK, doctor Haraway Smith is going to be with us until 6:00 o'clock. She's going to be answering your coronavirus questions, so here's how you get your question to her. You're going to text that question, not call, but text.

The number is 336-379-5775 and we'll be right back..

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