The COVID-19 vaccine is a vaccine, not a spell.

It can't affect another person’s menstrual cycle or fertility by proxy.

There is a new lie circulating about the COVID-19 vaccine, that people who get the vaccine can somehow shed “something” that can affect the menstrual cycle or fertility of people in proximity. Or even cause a miscarriage. I suspect the awful people who invented this lie saw the reports of menstrual irregularities post COVID-19 vaccine online and decided to warp it for their campaign of chaos.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is not capable of exerting reproductive control via proxy. Nothing is. This is because it is a vaccine, not a spell.

But that hasn’t stopped the spread of the lie on social media. For all of their so-called “I see you are writing about COVID—19” alerts, Instagram and Facebook are doing an egregious job of actually responding to complaints about disinformation. 

Here is what you need to know.

Neither of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which use mRNA (messenger RNA), nor the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (which uses a viral vector) can possibly affect a person who has not been vaccinated, and this includes their menstruation, fertility, and pregnancy.

Here’s why. 

The mRNA vaccines

Normally, mRNA (or messenger RNA) is created in the nucleus and then sent out into the cytoplasm to make proteins. (Think of the nucleus as the brain of the cell and the cytoplasm as the body). mRNA vaccines bypass the nucleus and deliver the mRNA that was made in a lab directly to the cytoplasm. Here, the mRNA from the vaccine provides the cell with instructions to make the spike protein on the surface of COVID-19.

The spike proteins made by the mRNA vaccine may last for a few weeks. It is these spike proteins that trigger the immune system to make antibodies. The spike proteins are degraded or destroyed, and now the immune system knows how to attack these spike proteins. If you are exposed to COVID-19 later, you now have the immune system weaponry to fight it. 

The mRNA from the vaccine is destroyed fairly quickly. Cells are constantly making mRNA, so it has to be destroyed or the cytoplasm would eventually be filled with a lifetime of instructions. A good analogy is mRNA is like IKEA instructions—good for one thing and then thrown away. 

An mRNA vaccine simply cannot affect other people. We don’t shed mRNA or spike proteins. 

Can the mRNA vaccine affect your own menstruation if you get vaccinated? This is an entirely different subject that I have covered here.

The Viral Vector Vaccine

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses a common cold virus (adenovirus, which is a double-stranded DNA virus) that has been modified. A small piece of genetic material that carries instructions to make the mRNA that makes spike proteins is inserted into the DNA of the cold virus. The cold virus injects its modified DNA into the nucleus of the cell (this DNA cannot be integrated into the cell's DNA). The cell reads the DNA, and then makes mRNA for the spike protein. That mRNA leaves the nucleus and at this point we are at the same place as the mRNA vaccines. The cytoplasm now has instructions to make spike proteins, which the immune system recognizes and foreign, antibodies are made, the mRNA is degraded, and the spike proteins disappear. This article from the New York Times explains it very well. 

The cold virus in this vaccine can enter into cells, but can’t replicate or cause illness because it has been modified. So this virus in this vaccine can’t be shed and passed to other people. 

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is just a different way to get instructions into the cytoplasm. If the mRNA vaccines are IKEA instructions delivered directly to your house, the Johnson and Johnson are IKEA instructions that you print on your printer. The instructions come via different vehicles, but they both end up in your house and tell you the same thing and you throw them away in the exact same manner.

The Menstrual Cycle isn’t Contagious

First off, period syncing is a myth. I’ve written about it here. If the COVID-19 vaccine affects your menstrual cycle, you aren’t going to drag someone else along for the ride. There is no battle for menstrual dominance.

Two uteruses enter the ring, but only one can survive! Not. I mean really. It’s not a thing. It’s a common myth, but that’s all it is.

The COVID-19 Vaccine is Not Associated With Miscarriages

When the CDC reviewed the data, the background rate of miscarriage and stillbirth was the same between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The CDC has established a registry for pregnant people who have been vaccinated and they are closely monitoring for safety signals. Remember, they let us know about the very rare risk of blood clots and low platelets!

The data in the chart below is approximately 1,800 pregnancies. As of April 18 there were 4,478 pregnant people enrolled, so more data will be coming soon. Animal studies have also not demonstrated any safety concerns during pregnancy.

Miscarriages Aren’t Contagious

This is an awful lie. Really. The people who make this up are awful people who should be ashamed of themselves.

Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are inappropriately treated as taboo or shameful, and consequently many people erroneously feel responsible, so it’s easy for anti-vaccine predators to weaponize pregnancy loss. I’ve had people suggest my loss at 22 1/2 weeks was my fault. I know how it stings, even when you know it’s not true.

Anyone who taps into lies about miscarriage and stillbirth is a sorry excuse for a human. There are no bridges of understanding to be built here.

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Who Is Spreading this Lie?

There are big names involved, like Dr. Christiane Northrup (an OB/GYN who was given a massive platform by Oprah—by the way, she was openly anti-vaccine when she was given this platform—who is also now a full-on QAnon, anti-mask conspiracy theorist) and Naomi Wolf, who has demonstrated time and time again that the ability to do basic research is beyond her grasp. There are also plenty of naturopaths spreading this misinformation on Instagram (which is how I heard about it). I am not linking to any of them, but if you see anyone spreading the lie, report the accounts and block them.

Let me be very clear. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot affect anyone by proxy. Anyone telling you otherwise wishes you harm. Many of them have right-wing anti-choice agendas, but often these kind of conspiracy theories occupy a weird overlap between the extreme right and the extreme left.

What will affect the menstrual cycle and cause pregnancy complications is the COVID-19 virus and lies about the COVID-19 vaccine and menstruation and fertility are simply a form of reproductive coercion. 

When you see information about the COVID-19 vaccine, or anything about COVID-19 really, a great source for fact checking is the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Click here for the link.