Health Library

Ladies, what can you expect post COVID-19 vaccine?

There are lots of questions about women and the COVID-19 vaccine. We are here to get your questions answered.

What to expect on your mammogram

If your next mammogram is set to take place soon after your COVID-19 shot, there's something you should know: According to the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), there's an increased chance of a false alarm on your mammogram.

Swollen lymph nodes can look like cancer

Mammograms are x-rays that help doctors find breast cancer early. When checking a mammogram, doctors look for changes in tissue that could be signs of breast cancer. Swollen lymph nodes under an arm can be one such sign.

But swollen lymph nodes are a normal reaction to vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines. It's a natural part of the body's immune response. But doctors need to be sure that what they see on a mammogram is not cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the lymph nodes may return to normal size in a few days to a few weeks. So women with swollen lymph nodes from a vaccine may get called back in for further tests.

It comes down to timing

If you have both a mammogram and a COVID-19 shot coming up, be sure to talk to your doctor. If possible, the SBI suggests that you try to schedule your mammogram before your first COVID-19 vaccine dose or at least four weeks after your second dose. But you should not delay care your doctor recommends getting urgently.

In any case, on the day of your appointment, tell the technologist whether you've had your COVID-19 shot.

COVID-19 vaccines for moms-to-be

We're still learning about COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. But based on what we do know, experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say there is no reason why moms-to-be should not get the vaccine.

If you have questions about the safety of the vaccine for you and your baby, you can always talk with your doctor. In the meantime, check out some facts:

1. Being pregnant raises your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. 

This includes a higher risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit and needing a ventilator to help with breathing. Having COVID-19 might also raise the risk of pregnancy problems, such as having early labor and birth. Getting vaccinated may help protect you, your loved ones, and even your baby.

2. There isn't much safety data yet. 

Pregnant women were not enrolled in the first COVID-19 vaccine studies. Some women who enrolled became pregnant during the trials, however. So far, experts have not found any safety concerns among those women. More studies specifically for pregnant women are now being done.

3. The vaccines aren't likely to pose a risk. 

This belief is based on how the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines work. For example, they do not contain live viruses or viruses that copy themselves. So they can't make you sick with COVID-19. They can't change your DNA. And despite the myth going around, there's no evidence that mRNA vaccines—or any vaccines—cause infertility.

 

 

 

Related stories
Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.