Let’s talk about swine flu and miscarriage

I both run and belong to several support groups on miscarriage all over the internet. I’ve seen a somewhat alarming trend on forums and blogs to make the recommendation that women NOT get the H1N1 vaccine, because some believe it causes miscarriage.

I have seen women very upset who miscarry on the day of their vaccine or shortly after. This does NOT mean the two things were connected. Thousands of women lose their babies every day. It’s sad and terrible, and I so wish it didn’t happen. It only makes sense that some of the women who lose their babies will have done something that day that will make it seem connected. Had sex. Worked out. Fallen down. Or gotten a vaccine or other medical procedure.

Right now there is one thing we do know: swine flu is unexpectedly more dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. They are dying. Not all of them, not even a lot of them, but more than was expected. So the flu itself is a risk.

But we have no medically proven risk with the vaccine. Doctors insist it is safe. Maybe they are wrong, but a miscarriage after a vaccine cannot be conclusively connected. The vast majority of miscarriages are genetic.
It IS a big decision to get a vaccine, to knowingly put anything in your body when you are pregnant. I think the risk is too individual to be easily advised by someone who doesn’t know your situation. Some things to ask yourself: 
  • Are there little children in your house who could bring home swine flu?
  • Are they in day care and more likely to get swine flu?
  • How do you personally handle illness?
  • Have you been prone to illness so far in the pregnancy, are you run down or fighting difficult symptoms?
  • What sort of swine flu complications are popping up in your specific part of the world?
  • And importantly, have you ever had a flu vaccine? Did it make you sick before?
  • Do the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk?
It may only be your own doctor who can advise you on this. Please, before listening to horror stories on the internet, talk to the person who knows you, who knows the level of risk in your community, and can help you weigh the benefits of the vaccine versus going without–your doctor.
When a miscarriage happens, we want to find somone or something to blame. This is very natural and happens to all of us. But we definitely don’t act based on something that might not apply to us, so I urge you to take this decision seriously before letting blog posts (even mine) convince you how to react on this vaccine issue, or to believe a conspiracy, or a cover-up, that might not be a sound part of your choice on the vaccine.

12 thoughts on “Let’s talk about swine flu and miscarriage

  1. Very good points. I will add though that you can report any reaction to vaccines to the VAERS. There is a place to report any and all medical reactions. https://www.myflushot.org/survey/250464/e69d/?LQID=1

    It is a study of reactions to the regular flu shot and H1N1. Please report either if you have a reaction or not. It asks for more than just obvious reactions, but tell if you’ve had anything healthwise change after or have remained the same. They will do a follow up in a month or so.

  2. One thing to consider to everyone who miscarries shortly after getting the H1N1 vaccine, is that now when you get pregnant the second time, you already have the vaccine in your body and you don’t need to worry about the effect getting the shot while you are pregnant may have on your next baby. I was worried about getting the H1N1 during my first trimester (and even my second because there was little testing done) and then I found out at 11 weeks that my baby had died at 8 weeks. When I found this out, even though I wasn’t pregnant with a live baby anymore, I asked the Dr. for the shot and received the shot. Now when I get pregnant a second time (hopefully soon) I won’t be worrying about the effect of the H1N1 on this baby. I like to think these things sometimes happen for a reason….

  3. If you look at the pandemic of 1977, when H1N1 or Swine Flu re-emerged after a 20 year absence, there is no shift in age-related mortality pattern. The 1977 “pandemic” is, of course, not considered a true pandemic by experts today, for reasons that are not entierely consistent. It certainly was an antigenic shift and not an antigenic drift. As far as I have been able to follow the current events, the most significant factor seems to have been that most people, who were severely affected, were people with other medical conditions.

  4. i have had tha vaccine on tuesday and now on friday woke up to blood and been to docs they think it a miscarriage which i fully blame the vaccine i wish i never had for a mum who has three already and they were all fineand now this i hate mylife now

  5. I had a swine flu vaccine couple of weeks ago, same day visit i found out i was pregnant 6 weeks, i was excited, but then i thought wait a minute i just got the h1n1 vaccine n i really hope this will not hurt my bb, then sure enought 2 days later i started to bleed like a period then 4 days later my bb past :'{ was the sadest blank emotional day for me, till this day i still have my lil tiny angel in a freezer, i did not have the heart to through it away. Now i think to myself what did i do wrong? did the vaccine caused it? im a healthy 29 years old woman, i eat healthy, i take supplement from the health food store. why did i miscarry??

  6. I had the Swine Flu back in early September….high fever, cough, aches, vomiting…etc. It was horrible. A week later, I miscarried (I was 7 weeks). Not sure if it was the flu, or was destined to happen….but I’d never miscarried before. Now, we are pregnant again….and I’m not nearly as worried because I’ve already had H1N1.
    It’s terrible.

  7. I had the H1N1 at 7 weeks then misscarried at the end of my 9 weeks, I can’t help to think the H1N1 vaccine had something to do with it. A healthy young woman with no family history of misscarriages lost her baby right after the vaccine…but I am just holding on to God’s promise that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord.

  8. I went to the doctor at 6-7 weeks pregnant and she suggested I have the Swine Flu shot, so I did. Figured it was better to be safe than sorry. At 9 weeks I returned to the doctor as I started to bleed. She sent me for a scan and it turns out I was having a miscarriage and that it had died at 7 and a half weeks. I have always tried to put certain reasons to the back of my mind, as I will never truly know the answer, but it did cross my mind as to whether the shot had anything to do with it. I don’t understand how they can say there are no known side affects with this, as it hasn’t been used long enough to really know. maybe they should take these examples as possibilities.

  9. I had my H1N1 shot at a little over 8 weeks. I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. The baby had stopped growing at 9 weeks. I will never know if it was caused by the H1N1 shot, but I believe it may have been.

  10. I had the shot and the bleeding started three *hours* later. This was my first pregnancy and I was at 7 weeks. I miscarried five days later, with an ultrasound showing a healthy heartbeat even after two days of bleeding. I had had no spotting or complications before the flu shot. I am not an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist, but it is intellectually very difficult to separate the two events. I know it’s human nature to want to blame something. And we might never know. I reported my experience here. http://vaers.hhs.gov/index

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