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Pregnant or concerned about infertility? Doctors say don't be misled by COVID misinformation

An infectious disease expert is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You may have heard that COVID-19 vaccines could be dangerous to pregnant women or hurt fertility. But doctors say that's not true and the false information could put you in a life-threatening situation. 

Infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld said it's a hot button issue that’s upsetting healthcare workers. 

“Somehow out there the rumors have spread that it affects fertility and affects pregnancy when in fact really the reverse is the case,” explained Threlkeld.  

On the other hand, COVID-19 infections put pregnant women at risk for pregnancy complications, severe disease and death.

“We know that pregnancy is a significant risk factor for doing badly with COVID-19,” said Dr. Threlkeld. “We’ve seen quite a few people hospitalized, some on the ventilator at least one death.”

One study found that there was an increased risk of mortality with COVID-19 infection at the time of childbirth versus childbirth without a coronavirus infection. 

“The baby gets it oxygen from mom and if mom is not oxygenating well because her lungs are seriously diseased, even temporarily, that’s a dangerous thing for the baby.”

Threlkled is urging pregnant women to go ahead and get vaccinated if they haven’t already yet to avoid any dangerous complications. 

“If you have someone even a physician that advises you not to get it during pregnancy, I think it’s appropriate to ask the question why your opinion is diametrically opposed to all of the governing bodies of that field of expertise,” said Dr. Threlkeld.