I don’t know what it is about vaccines and fear of infertility, but now rapper Nicki Minaj has stepped into the COVID-19 vaccine “discussion.” And like every claim that, in some magical way, vaccines have an effect on fertility, she’s wrong.
Worse yet, Nicki Minaj knows as much about vaccines as my cat, yet she gets to use her platform on social media to spread her misinformation. That’s the battle for the hearts and minds of people in these vaccines discussions is so difficult – maybe 10,000 people will read this article in which I debunk the “COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility” myth for the 10th time. But millions will see her social media posts.
So, here I go again, I’m going to tell you again that vaccines, specifically the ones for COVID-19, are not going to cause infertility in men or women. Sigh. And the thought that I have to write a debunking of something from Nicki Minaj is surreal.
What did Nicki Minaj say?
Well, the image above says it all.
This sounds like one of those old jokes that my sister’s hairdresser’s cousin’s housekeeper’s husband’s friend’s pizza delivery guy heard that the COVID-19 vaccine causes swollen testicles and became impotent. It’s not even a first-person anecdote, it’s much further away than that. And we all know that anecdotes do not equal data in science and medicine.
I reviewed the real science, clinical trials for the JNJ, Moderna, and Pfizer, and there were no mentions of swollen testicles. And trust me on this point, the second some guy noticed swollen testicles after receiving the vaccine, he’d be running (or walking slowly) to see his physician.
Of course, Twitter wasn’t going to let Ms. Minaj get away with her claims. One Dr. David Robert Grimes, someone who probably knows a thing or two about vaccines, sent out this reply:
Thus, if you notice you are a man and have swollen testicles after receiving any vaccine, please see a doctor because the causes could be serious:
- Gonorrhea – a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- Syphilis – another STI
- Chlamydia – yet another STI
- Mumps (a vaccine-preventable disease, of course)
- Traumatic injury – yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like
- Torsion – this causes the twisting of the spermatic cord which can lead to swelling.
None of those, not a single one, are vaccine-related. Vaccines don’t cause swollen testicles. The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause swelling.
COVID-19 vaccine does not cause swollen testicles
If we went back in time, all the way back to September 2019, most of us would be asking who Fauci is, and why is that old white guy arguing with the rapper Nicki Minaj about testicles and vaccines. That’s how weird our world has gotten.
Nicki Minaj is relaying a crazy anecdote that has no meaning. Her cousin’s friend’s fiance called off the wedding because his testicles are swollen because he probably had an STI, though he could have had the mumps, gotten kicked in the testicles by his angry fiance, or something else.
But I can tell you what can cause erectile dysfunction in men – COVID-19 itself. If that’s not enough to get men to jump on board the vaccine train, I don’t know what will.
I don’t know how we got to the world that a young woman with a large social media following can tell her followers that the COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility, impotence, or whatever. But here we are.