MMR (M-M-R II) is not recommended for women who are expecting due to the potential problems that could occur as a result of the fetus being exposed to measles, mumps, and rubella. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that women wait for at least 30 days after getting the vaccine before trying to become pregnant. The MMR manufacturer recommends waiting three months.
Is Getting MMR While Pregnant Safe?
The MMR vaccine (officially known as M-M-R® II) is approved to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. This vaccine is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
What Is Pregnancy Category C?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
The MMR vaccine has not been studied in pregnant women or animals.
Because MMR is a live vaccine, and because exposure to measles, mumps, or rubella during pregnancy can be dangerous to the developing fetus, there is a theoretical risk that the vaccine could cause problems. As a result, the manufacturer of MMR recommends that pregnant women not receive this vaccine and that women not try to get pregnant for three months after receiving it. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a waiting period of only 30 days.
Pregnancy and MMR: Final Thoughts
In general, this vaccine is not recommended for use during pregnancy. If you happened to have received the MMR vaccine before you knew you were pregnant, be sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine information statement: MMR (3/13/08). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mmr.pdf. Accessed September 16, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). MMR vaccine questions and answers (5/3/04). CDC Web site. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/combo-vaccines/mmr/faqs-mmr-hcp.htm. Accessed September 16, 2009.
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