Is There Any Research On Covid
The CDC has a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System , which is a surveillance program where anyone can report the side effects they experienced after getting the vaccine. And while there have been reports of menstrual irregularities on VAERS, there aren’t necessarily enough reports to apply to the general public. Because of this and reports on social media saying that periods were affected by the COVID-19 vaccines, in January 2022, researchers did a cohort study to compare cycle and menses length in the vaccinated versus unvaccinated. Their results suggest that the COVID-19 vaccination is associated with a smallâbut not clinically significantâchange in cycle length.
Is There A Link Between Covid Vaccine And Your Period What Does Research Show
There is little scientific evidence to support an association between periods and the vaccine. Not much research has been conducted on the subject so far, and certainly none was available for the vaccines being administered in India.
The WHO-backed Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation , in an article published on its website, notes:
Now, anecdotal evidence is starting to emerge that it could affect your periods too, but this is currently being researched to see whether there is a conclusive link. The good news is that even if there were a connection, it seems to be temporary. Scientists say there is no evidence that the vaccines affect fertility, i.e. the ability to get pregnant and to deliver a child.
Emphasising that the vaccines do not impact fertility in any manner, GAVI further offers a plausible connection between the vaccine and the menstrual cycle:
The HPV vaccine and the flu vaccine have been reported to affect menstrual cycles temporarily so it wouldnt be surprising if COVID-19 vaccines do so briefly either. Immune cells are at work in the creating and then breaking down the lining of the uterus that happens during menstruation vaccines produce inflammatory molecules called cytokines and interferons that stimulate immune cells, including potentially in the uterus. This might cause the lining to shed sooner or more intensively than usual, causing changes to the menstrual cycle.
What Women Can Do To Stay Healthy Right Now
According to Dr. Fyffe, three things that may promote health are exercise, rest and a healthy diet.
Exercise provides many benefits for your body. It can help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, it can help with weight management, it reduces your risk for heart disease and improves your mental health and well-being. Dr. Fyffe adds that in addition to stress, the pandemic has caused more of us to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. So by increasing exercise, you can lessen the effects of stress on the body.
Get enough sleep
While everyone has different schedules and obligations, Dr. Fyffe recommends getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Sleep disturbances and/or inadequate periods of rest, can affect your hormones and subsequently, your menstrual cycle.
Watch your diet
Aim for a balanced diet which should include adequate levels of carbohydrates, proteins, low-fat, low-sugar, and iron-rich foods. And remember that when you eat too much or dont eat enough, it can affect your menstrual cycle. Also, make sure that youre drinking enough water. The recommended daily amount of water is 64 fluid ounces.
Take note of the stressors around you
Dr. Fyffe says a lot of factors in our environment can add to our stress. These things can influence our diet, sleep schedule, and medication regimen.
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The Vaccine May Cause Minor Temporary Changes In Your Menstrual Cycles
The study reported:
- 42% of people with regular menstrual cycles experienced heavier bleeding than usual after vaccination
- 44% reported no changes to their menstrual cycles
- 14% reported lighter bleeding
Additionally, 39% of those undergoing gender-affirming hormone treatments, 71% of people on long-acting contraceptives and 66% of postmenopausal women experienced breakthrough bleeding after one or both of their COVID vaccine shots.
The study looked at responses from over 35,000 individuals between the age 18 and 80 weeks after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The participants had likely not contracted COVID-19 before getting vaccinated.
There have been many viral rumors circulating online that COVID-19 vaccines would impact womens menstrual cycles or menstruation overall, says Noelle Aikman, M.D., director of obstetrics at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.This new study shows that the vaccines could lead to mild, temporary changes in the length and the flow of your menstrual cycle, but these mild disruptions should not discourage you from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.”
What Are The Implications
Womens menstrual cycles typically vary a small amount from month to month, and the researchers pointed out that the increase they observed was well within the range of normal variability most women wouldnt even notice if their period arrived half a day later than normal. The fact that womens periods returned to normal within a few cycles suggests that this was only a temporary change although the researchers cautioned that they dont yet have enough data about subsequent cycles to say this for sure. The results may also not be generalisable to the wider US, or global population or to women with underlying health conditions that affect their menstrual cycles: the women in this study were predominantly White, college-educated, with lower-than-average body mass indexes , and only those with consistently normal menstrual cycle lengths were chosen for analysis.
Even so, the researchers described their findings as reassuring. We find no population-level clinically meaningful change in menstrual cycle length associated with COVID-19 vaccination, they write.
It is also important to remember that COVID-19 infection can also cause changes to periods, as well as other potentially life-threatening complications. It is therefore important to get vaccinated when you can.
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Can The Covid Vaccine Affect Your Period
Topic: Can the COVID Vaccine Affect Your Period?
The COVID-19 vaccine can come with many side effects, like a fever, chills, and muscle pain. So its only natural to wonder if it can temporarily influence other aspects of your health, like your menstrual cycle.
First, theres no reason not to get vaccinated when you have your period neither the CDC nor the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists lists being on your period as a reason to put off the vaccine.
But in terms of how the vaccine affects menstruation in general, some women have taken to social media to talk about how theyre suddenly experiencing heavier-than-normal periods after getting vaccinated.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, University of Illinois associate professor Kate Clancy, PhD, had this to say: A colleague told me she has heard from others that their periods were heavy post-vax. Im curious whether other menstruators have noticed changes too? Im a week and a half out from dose 1 of Moderna, got my period maybe a day or so early, and am gushing like Im in my 20s again.
Other people chimed in with their own stories. I am exactly 1 week after my Moderna 2nd shot and I started a very heavy cycle for me, and im about 2.5 weeks early, one wrote. I got the Moderna on the last day of my period. Nine days later another period appeared and has been a nightmare, commented another.
Topic Discussed: Can the COVID Vaccine Affect Your Period?
We Need Studies To Explore This
This may help figure out how many women are observing menstrual irregularities after the vaccine. But one problem is theres no comparison group namely women who didnt receive the vaccine.
Further, the data being collected are retrospective, which are limited by recall bias. If you believe menstrual issues are related to the vaccine, you may be more inclined to remember that after the vaccine you had several months ago, you did have a heavier period.
A better way to study this would be to enrol women of reproductive age into a study in advance, get them to track three months of cycles, then give them the vaccine or a placebo injection, and get them to track the following three months.
Recommended Reading: Are Lighter Periods A Sign Of Menopause
I Imagine You Are Excited About Seeing Results And Being Able To Share Them Now That You Have Seen The Overwhelming Response To The Study You Are Conducting
So, I feel, obviously, very lucky to be in this space. And its a tremendous opportunity to learn so much more about these understudied health outcomes. And I feel so thankful and grateful to our participants for being willing to share this information with us. I dont think these outcomes are particularly easy to share. I think theyre very sensitive, especially pregnancy loss, especially changes in menstruation. And so, Im often in awe of the participants who are willing to enroll and share their experiences with us. So, yes, just a tremendous amount of gratitude that we are able to do this research. These couples are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts for altruistic reasons. And it really is such an amazing thing that theyre hoping to advance science. Theyre hoping to help other couples, future couples, learn more about how to improve their fertility and how to reduce miscarriage and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. So, yes, I love my work. I love being in the space. It just feels fun, and eye-opening, and rewarding.
What Were The Main Findings
Women who received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during a single menstrual cycle had a small increase in cycle length meaning a longer time between bleeding of just over half a day, on average, compared to unvaccinated women. Although statistically significant, natural variability in unvaccinated womens cycles meant that many of them similarly experienced these sorts of changes month to month. There was no difference in the proportion of individuals who experienced a clinically significant change in cycle length of eight days or more.
Have you read?
Those who received two vaccine doses within the same menstrual cycle experienced a slightly longer increase in cycle length, equivalent to two days although 10% of these women experienced a bigger change in cycle length of eight days or more. These changes quickly reverted back to normal during subsequent cycles, suggesting that they were only temporary.
There was no difference in the number of days women bled for, and further research is needed to determine whether COVID-19 vaccination influences characteristics such as heaviness of blood flow, or symptoms such as pain or mood changes, the researchers said.
Also Check: Can You Have A Period During Menopause
How Cortisol Can Affect Your Period
According to Dr. Fyffe, stress can increase your cortisol levels. Too much cortisol can lead to inflammation as well as a variety of physical and mental health issues.
Chronic stress can affect your bodys normal cortisol production rhythm. An overabundance of cortisol can affect your metabolism, which can lead to obesity. It can also lead to sleep disturbances as well as changes in menstruation.
Im Gushing Like Im In My 20s: Reproductive Expert Kate Clancys Personal Account
Kathryn BH Clancy, reproductive health expert and associate professor at the University of Illinois, USA, had shared a personal experience of the changes in her period post the COVID vaccine, in a Twitter thread that has now been circulated far and wide.
Clancy, who had observed a heavier-than-usual flow during her first period post the jab, received responses on Twitter from several women who had similar accounts to share.
The biological anthropologist, having received an overwhelming response from other women, has launched a survey-based research to study the effect.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of My Period
Some Demographics May Be More Likely To Experience Menstrual Changes
The following groups reported heavier menstruation:
- Older adults
- People who used hormonal contraception
- People who had been pregnant in the past or had been diagnosed with a reproductive condition like endometriosis, fibroids and other reproductive issues
- People who identified as Hispanic or Latino
- People who experienced other side effects of the vaccines, like a fever or fatigue
It is very reassuring that the study found only mild and temporary changes in the menstrual cycle, which is within the range of normal variation, says Noelle Aikman, M.D.. If you are someone whos experiencing the following abnormalities, you should consider talking to your physicians:
- Havent had periods for over a month
- Abnormal discharge or color
- Your periods last more than a week
- Extreme pain during periods
What Other Illness Affect Menstrual Cycles
There are many factors that might affect menstruation. Illnesses, medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle factors can all have an effect. If you are concerned about changes to your menstrual cycle, make an appointment to speak with a healthcare provider. Some causes of changes to menstruation include:
â¢ Polycystic ovary syndrome
â¢ Pelvic inflammatory disorder
â¢ Uterine polyps or fibroids
â¢ Pregnancy and breastfeeding
â¢ Thyroid disease
â¢ Birth control medications
For many people, menstruation can be difficult to discuss â because of cultural norms or some social stigmas associated with bodily functions related to sex and reproduction. This âtabooâ can make it difficult for people to get the help they need. If you have concerns about changes in your menstrual cycle, you should always discuss them with your healthcare provider, who will not be uncomfortable talking about anything related to your health and physical well-being.
âCarbon Healthâs medical content is reviewed and approved by healthcare professionals before it is published. But note that our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 are developing and changing very rapidly if you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 precautions, treatments, and vaccinations, please talk to your healthcare provider.
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Implications On Womens Health
Even if menstrual cycle changes occur infrequently, it is still important to fully explore the possible effects that the COVID-19 vaccines may have.
Vaccine hesitancy among young women is largely driven by false claims that COVID-19 vaccines could harm their chances of future pregnancy, Dr. Male writes. Failing to thoroughly investigate reports of menstrual changes after vaccination is likely to fuel these fears.
Dr. Katharine Lee, a postdoctoral research scholar in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, weighed in on the importance of beginning this research.
I am happy to see this paper published because it is an important area of research, Dr. Lee told Medical News Today.
Variation in menstrual cycles is surprisingly understudied, even though we know that they should respond to lots of kinds of stressors, including immune and inflammatory responses. Dr. Male makes a number of good points, and Im especially glad shes highlighting the safety of the vaccines, said Dr. Lee.
MNT also spoke with Dr. Sarah Gray a general practitioner based in Cornwall, England. Dr. Gray is an expert in womens health and ran a specialist womens health clinic for the National Health Service for 15 years.
Womens health has not been a research priority for the last 20 years and there is much we do not know, she added.
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Bu Today: How Did Researchers Come To This Idea Of Studying Whether The Covid Vaccines May Be Affecting Menstruation
Lauren Wise: I just want to say how surprised I was to see so many comments on The Brink about this topic. Maybe I shouldnt have been so surprised ,but its pretty clear that menstruation is a really important health outcome for women and its great to see so many women talking about this. This is typically more of a taboo subject, but so many women have come out and expressed their experience about menstruation following vaccination and Im glad that their voices are being heard. There have been a lot of anecdotal reports, on various social media outlets, where women have said after vaccination theyve experienced changes in their menstruation, such as heavier menses, earlier onset of menses, or more painful periods. But in the clinical trials that came out looking at the effects of vaccination, they really just looked at life or death type outcomes and not reproductive outcomes like menstruation or fertility or even pregnancy outcomes. So, this is a very understudied area of investigation and Im really happy that the National Institutes of Health has decided to fund these additional studies, looking at the extent to which COVID vaccination has an impact on menstruation.
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Do Covid Vaccines Affect Menstruation
Some women say their periods change after getting vaccinatednow a BU researcher is on the hunt for a possible link
Some women across the United States have anecdotally reported that after receiving their coronavirus vaccines, they experienced heavier, earlier, and more painful periods. Now a Boston University researcher is leading one of five teams awarded a total of $1.67 million from the National Institutes of Health to investigate whether COVID-19 vaccines have an impact on menstruation.
Lauren Wise, a BU School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, will look for evidence of COVID vaccines affecting periods through Pregnancy Study Online , the NIH-funded online study she runs that follows women trying to conceive from preconception through six months after birth.
The study has been collecting data since 2013 on many aspects of female health and fertility, including regularly asking participants questions about their menstrual cycles and inviting them to use a menstrual charting app.
Wise says, using PRESTO data, she and her team will evaluate SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and changes in menstruation during six cycles of follow-up.