Should I have a flu jab before 12 weeks with a history... - NCT


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Should I have a flu jab before 12 weeks with a history of miscarriage?

kellykdv profile image

Hi I have a flu jab booked and have already postponed it once but have been reassured by numerous health care people that it is ok, except for one friend has now told me she spoke to her friend about it who is a nurse and she said dont have it before 12 weeks if you have a history of miscarriage as I do. So torn what to do ......... has anyone else with similar circumstances had a flu jab? Thankyou

17 Replies

My midwife said to me I needed it with my first pregnancy I didn't have it and was pregnant round winter aswell and now have a beautiful 4 1/2year old so why should I have it this time wen I never the first time? My midwife said to me that she has to recommented it but its totally my choice if I don't want it then don't have it I said no to them at 10weeks I'm now 18weeks and so far I have not been asked again :). But if your gonna worry and stress over it simpley don't have it stress and worry are not good for you or the baby. Hope this helps x

Thankyou, have just cancelled the appointment. I also have a 4 year old and didn't have it then either but I think the reason it's recommended now is that we didn't seem to have flu's like swine flu at the time and have spoken to my partner again this morning and weighed up the odds of me catching flu and hope its pretty slim as I can only remember having proper bed ridden flu once at the age of about 18. He thinks I shouldn't do anythink that could leave a question mark over the safety of the pregnancy and you're right about the stress thing so for now I'm going to sit tight and keep my fingers crossed! Thanks again for you reply and good luck with your pregnacy too x

Hi i am five weeks pregnant. I miscarried with my first pregnancy two months ago. O went to the doctors today for a check up and he told me i had to have a flu jab too and booked it for friday. Im not sure whether to have it done or not. Ive never had one before and know they can make u feel unwell which surely isnt good for the baby and i worry about anything that may cause me to miscarry again. I have only had flu once and that was ten years ago xx

As I understand it, there is no credible evidence to suggest that the flu vaccine increases the risk of miscarriage. Of course it's nearly impossible to carry out the kind of placebo-controlled clinical trials on pregnant women that would normally be used on non-pregnant patients to evaluate the efficacy and safety of any new drug, as taking risks with the health of pregnant women is a big no-no ethics-wise. So, if you want to take the most cautious, skeptical view of the situation, you could say that we don't know for certain whether having the flu vaccine increases the risk of miscarriage.

That said, what we do know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that getting flu significantly increases a pregant woman's risk of miscarriage, premature labour, and death. That's why the NHS is so keen to vaccinate as many women as possible. It's essentially a choice between a possible but unlikely small risk, and a clear and present danger. (Note that you can't get the flu from the vaccine itself as the virus it contains is dead, though some patients experience mild flu-like symptoms for a couple days afterward as their immune system responds to the vaccine--it's this response that causes you to become immune to the real deal.)

I should caveat all this by saying that I'm not a medical professional, just a concerned pregnant lady who went on a fact-finding mission before getting her own flu jab. If you're undecided but concerned, you should speak to your GP and get him or her to explain the risk/benefit analysis to you, so you can make an informed choice. You have a right to ask, and he or she has a vested interest in taking the time to explain it to you clearly, as there are government targets for vaccine uptake that GPs are trying to meet.

Yep i totally agree with Carren. I had the flu jab at 17 weeks and i had no side effects.the nurse said you may experience cold symptoms after a few days but i didnt. Plus it will be a lot worse if you did actually get the flu. Look on the nhs website for info or your

Local doctors for a leaflet. Do not google it as ANYONE can write information on the net. All the best x

The reason pregnant women have to get the flu jab this year is because another out break of whooping cough is back.. Was on the new I think 5 babies have died this year because of it.. Some survived a few dies some a few weeks.. If you don't have the flu jab then your baby won't be pretected when their born.. I got mine at like 13wks I think .. Everyone I know that's had it has been fine

Mumaj profile image
Mumaj in reply to gemmw

The flu jab is purely for flu, you should be offered the whooping cough jab at 28 weeks to protect baby from whooping cough.

Hi Kellykdv,

the decisions we make during pregnancy hold so much responsibility, from what we eat and drink, to what medicines, if any, we decide to take. At the end of the day the decision is between yourself and the baby's father to make.

This is my experience: I have a son who is nearly two years old and though I was offered the flu jab whilst carrying him, I didn't take it. He was born fine and healthy.

However, I got pregnant at the end of last year and sincerely intended of getting the jab as I would be pregnant through the whole of the winter, but kept putting it off with the busy run up to Christmas and various other things, I thought I would get it done in the new year. But lo and behold, I got flu the first week of January, High temperature, shivers, aching muscles, the whole shebang. On January 17th this year we had the 12week scan to find out that the baby had died 10 days before...... the weekend I had been ill. As with miscarriage at this stage there is no deffinate reason given for the loss but I couldn't help thinking if only I had got the jab sooner would the baby have survived. We need to remember that during pregnany our own immune system is naturally compromised to stop our bodies rejecting this little "invader" to our bodies, so we are more sensative to infection of all kinds but are restricted as to the medicines we can take.

I am now 18weeks pregnant and decided this time to take the jab as soon as it was available in October, I was 11weeks pregnant at the time. I had no ill affect from the jab apart from an ache in the arm I got it in for a day or two. I got to hear the baby's heartbeat at the 16week check with the midwife. I am sure I will not relax properly about this pregnancy until this baby is safe in my arms.

I wish you well in your pregnancy and hope you manage to relax and enjoy this beautiful time with your growing bump.

Take Care.

B. x

Just saying the news and doctor said the flu is to protect against the whooping cough

Carren profile image
Carren in reply to gemmw

I had the flu vaccine in October, and just got back from having my whooping cough jab tonight. They're definitely two different jabs offered for two different reasons. Flu is particularly dangerous during pregnancy. Whooping cough is particularly dangerous to baby after birth, so because of the recent outbreaks we're being offered it whilst still pregnant so that little'un is already immune when born.

I had a flu jab at 5 weeks and miscarried at 7 weeks plus one. There is no evidence this led to it but I would not recommend it in the 1st trimester. I had it with my 3rd at 24 weeks with no bad effect. This time I developed a fever a week later and did not put the two together. I decided to go under my duvet thinking it is just a cold night. I think it is a personal decision and next time I will never have it in the 1st trimester. For a peace of mind i would wait. I read bobby70's reply and this would still not make me change my mind. There has never been a clinical trial done on pregnant women and although most women dont have any ill effects I think it should be a personal decison as Gps have a target to meet and points to score by meeting these targets.

bobby70 profile image
bobby70 in reply to

Amirasofia 71,

My intention was not to get kellykdv to change her mind. If you had read my post as you say you did you would have seen that my opening statement was "the decisions we make during pregnancy hold so much responsibility, from what we eat and drink, to what medicines, if any, we decide to take. At the end of the day the decision is between yourself and the baby's father to make. "

I did not once state that I would encourage her to reconsider. That is not my business to do so. I merely shared my experience. It is scary to be pregnant after miscarriage and the decisions we make seem to become all the more real and serious as miscarriage is not just a word anymore but is very real.

Thankyou everyone for your replies, I didn't go ahead with my appointment for the flu jab but am 12 weeks on the 20th December and also have my dating scan booked for the same day so all being well I think I'm going to re-book for the day after that. I'm 42 and didn't think I'd get another chance or fall pregnant again so I'm very protective of the little life that's growing inside me and probably know deep down that the risks from catching flu are greater than having the jab itself but even knowing that, the slightest thought of a question mark over the safety of the jab has stopped me going ahead just yet.

I'm sorry to hear some of you have lost little ones, I've lost two and the pain of that stays with you for a long time so for now I'm going to hope for the best and stay positive and for me, roll on 20th December!!!!


Hi everyone, joining this a bit late!

Just been to the docs as I found out I am pregnant again after 2 miscarriages this year and they have booked me in for an early scan at 7 weeks. I am only 4 weeks and 1 day but have had pregnancy symptoms since last weekend and when I did the test on Tuesday (with afternoon wee sample as I was pretty sure it wouldn't show) it said '2-3 weeks pregnant' so HCG's are looking good and the doc says that's a good sign :-) Anyway, I digress! I asked for the flu jab but my surgery have run out and won't be getting anymore! I called Boots to ask if I could pay and they said they can't give them to pregnant women. Hmmm. After reading this I am now undecided as I thought the jab was meant to prevent miscarriage not cause it. Kelly- am with you on everything you say- am almost 41 and after losing 2 babies this one is so precious its unreal. I think like you I will have to leave it for now.

Sending my love to all of you


After reading the last comment I'd like to find out why boots do not give flu jabs to pregnant women, as to wether its the company's blanket policy for insurance purposes, or something else. I think I'll ask when I go to pick up my bounty pack. My midwife asked me again wether I had gotten round to getting my flu jab yet, I'm twenty weeks on now and I thought all was safe, I asked why I needed the flu jab and the reply was that mothers and babies can die from this, I've already had a cold that lasted to very long sleepless weeks. I'm now going to discuss with hubby

Hi Thirdtimelucky

Unfortunately the pharmacist from Boots didn't bother to call me back (I asked what I should do if I couldn't get the jab from my GP or from Boots and he said he would look into it and call me back!) However in the meantime I contacted Tommy's and the Miscarriage Assoc and also spoke to someone I know who works in public health and they have all said that the flu jab is safe and reccommended to avoid complication and miscarriage/ early birth and that the Department of Health have released further vaccine so GP's have to give you the jab if you are in a 'at risk' category, which pregnant women are at any stage.

Coincidentally my GP surgery called this week to offer me the jab as they had got further supplies in! It's personal choice at the end of the day as to whether you have it- so many decisions to make eh.

K x

I had my flu jab at 6 weeks pregnant, personally I know how I'll I get with the flu and asthma and after hearing that six women that were pregnant last year died, I thought go for it! I was a little worried as last year I miscarried but again this can be causd for so many different reasons. I think this is a personal choice.

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