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Trying to conceive and have questions about the flu vaccine? Dr. Jason Parker answers some common questions on how to best navigate the season of sniffles.
Q: Is it a good idea to get the flu vaccine while undergoing fertility treatment?

Absolutely! The ultimate goal from IVF is a healthy pregnancy. With increased evidence demonstrating that nutrition and lifestyle can directly impact your fertility health from conception to your baby’s development, getting the flu shot is another aspect that you control through the process of infertility treatments.

Along with supplementing your diet with prenatal vitamins and folic acid, exercising, and other lifestyle modifications, getting the flu shot is another aspect of preventive care that you are doing to ensure you are taking precautions to help increase a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Q: What are the different types of flu vaccines available? Is there one that is a better choice for those trying to conceive?

This year when it comes to receiving the vaccine you will need to get the flu shot. In years past a nasal spray vaccine was available but this form is not approved this year.

Q: For those undergoing IVF who do come down with the flu, what are the possible complications?

In addition to the common complications of the flu there are additional risks. We see an increase in the risk of premature labor and premature delivery in pregnant women who get the flu. There is also an increased chance of babies born with birth defects to pregnant women who get the flu.

Getting the flu shot is a safe way to protect, and potentially prevent, yourself and your baby from these complications and from serious illness.

Q: Is it necessary to get the vaccine if you got it last year?

Yes. Your own personal immunity varies over time and each year the flu vaccine is updated to what that is expected to be prominent. Starting in October is the time to get your flu shot, especially since you’re trying to get pregnant.