Can The Vaccine Affect Fertility
Dr Mountfield says there is no evidence to suggest temporary changes to a person’s period after their vaccine will have any impact on their future fertility, or their ability to have children.
Writing for BMJ, Dr Viki Male, a lecturer in reproductive immunology, confirms that, in clinical trials, unintended pregnancies occurred at similar rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.
Elsewhere, Dr. Sarah Hardman, Specialty Doctor SRH, Menopause Lead Chalmers Centre, and Co-Director of the FSRH Clinical Effectiveness Unit also says there is no indication that the effectiveness of hormonal contraception is affected by the COVID-19 vaccine.
RCOG calls for more research to understand why people may have experienced changes in their menstrual cycle after the COVID-19 vaccine. They also highlight that potential side effects on menstruation should not be an afterthought in future medical research.
They say clinical trials should actively seek out this information, as participants are unlikely to report any changes in their period unless someone specifically asks them.
“Information about menstrual cycles and other vaginal bleeding should be solicited in future clinical trials, including trials of COVID-19 vaccines.”
New Book Busts Myths About Menstruation Spread By Public Health Groups
But she acknowledges that relatively minor or unusually rare changes to menstruation might be missed. Participants in the clinical trials are handed a checklist asking about minor side effects such as headaches or arm soreness, but Edwards says there aren’t any specific questions such as, “Are your menstrual periods irregular? Is your flow heavier?”
Because this data isn’t collected, trial participants are left to report changes to menstruation as “adverse events” a situation that could cause the trials to miss relatively minor disruptions, she said.
Lee, one of the anthropologists studying the effect of the vaccines on menstruation, says she doesn’t think she would personally describe her breakthrough bleeding as an “adverse event.”
New research does suggest there’s at least a plausible route by which vaccines could alter menstruation. Yale’s Lu-Culligan says that recent studies show immune cells play a role in both building up and breaking down the uterine lining during a cycle.
“When you’re altering your immunological state with a vaccine, it’s certainly possible that you could be altering a bit of the normal dynamics you could have,” she says.
Duration Of Menstruation And Duration Of The Menstrual Cycle After Covid
Mean duration of menstruation as reported by respondents had significantly increased from 6 ± 0.03 days pre-vaccine to 6.5 ± 0.1 post-vaccine . Moreover, participants mean menstrual cycle length had significantly increased from 27 ± 6 days prior to taking the vaccine to 28.1 ± 10 days after being vaccinated .
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Can The Stress Of The Pandemic Impact My Period
Across the internet, weâve seen anecdotal reports that pandemic stress is showing up for some people as changes in their menstrual cycle. You donât need to have an active COVID-19 infection to have your period thrown off by the pandemic. Living through a pandemic can be a stressful experience for anyone. Stress in general may influence cycle length, vaginal bleeding patterns, painful periods, and premenstrual symptoms .
The stress of coping mentally, physically, and financially with the changes of the past year has disproportionately affected women and people with cycles. Although men have a higher risk for death and complications from COVID-19 than women , the pandemic has brought to light the gender-related disparities in our healthcare and social support systems. Trans and nonbinary people have also been impacted by this pandemic and may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 .
Job loss from the pandemic has impacted women more than men, with 11% of women in the USA claiming unemployment, compared to 4% of men . Unemployment and underemployment in the USA means losing health insurance benefits and difficulty accessing healthcare. Women of color and immigrants are most at risk of being uninsured .
Simply put, women and people with cycles are dealing with a lot right now. On top of all of the stressors inflicted by the changes in work and home life, thereâs the added stress of trying to avoid becoming infected with or losing a loved one to the virus.
Can Vaccines Permanently Change Menstrual Cycles
Based on the data in this study, no.
The possible change is a menstrual delay of one day.
Since period cycles are hormonal, stress experienced by individuals can change a cycle. Loss or anxiety can be enough to change menstruation dates.
So, the researchers found a more significant menstruation cycle change of eight days in just 4.3% of unvaccinated and 5.2% of vaccinated people. The difference of 1.1% is not thought to seriously mean anything, or indicate any overall trend in population experience of post-vaccine menstruation. This group of eight-day changers resumed their normal timeframes within another two cycles.
With that in mind, the team want to do more research. They were able to answer one question, but more remain such as the impact of COVID infection on menstrual cycles.
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The Vaccine May Lengthen Your Cycle By A Day
Getting vaccinated may temporarily lengthen someones cycle by about a day making someones cycle 29 days long instead of 28 days.
However, the change in menstrual-cycle length that was discovered in the study was not clinically significant, according to the researchers:
- One-day fluctuations in cycle length fall within the normal range of variability.
- Similar changes commonly occur for different reasons, including stress.
The study, which received funding from the National Institutes of Health, examined data about menstrual-cycle length that nearly 4,000 women entered into a fertility-tracking app over a period of several months. More than half of the women who provided data received their first and/or second COVID-19 vaccines during the study the remainder were unvaccinated.
Covid Vaccine Effect On The Menstrual Cycle: Why Is This Happening
The short answer is: No one knows for sure. Of course, the usual reasons for period irregularities could apply here. These can include stress, contraception changes, or even medical reasons like endometriosis. The timing of these could coincide with vaccination.
However, the COVID-19 vaccines themselves could contribute to period irregularities, although reasons are unknown. Proposed theories include some combination of hormones, the immune system, and stress. The menstrual cycle is dependent upon fluctuating levels of different hormones. The lining of the uterus called the endometrium, which sheds each month has also been linked to the immune system. Its possible that the vaccine or its effect on the immune system and/or hormones is somehow affecting the endometrium, leading to period irregularities.
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So Given All That Do You Recommend Women Trying To Conceive Get Vaccinated
Theres a wealth of information that COVID infection itself has a really negative impact, a harmful impact on pregnancy outcomes and birth outcomes. And so taking into account all the available information right now, from all the data out there, I think the evidence is still weighing for vaccination. And so, its tough being a researcher in this area, because while we recognize the lack of data, as trained as an epidemiologist, we are strongly encouraging our participants to get vaccinated. So again, given the biology, what we know about how these vaccines could affect reproductive health given the available evidence. And there has been one study on fertility outcomes, a very small study that came out last month. And then all that data on the negative effects of COVID infection on pregnancy and birth outcomes. We strongly encourage women to get vaccinated against COVID.
Menstrual Cycle Abnormalities After Covid
Overall, 66.3% of women experienced menstrual abnormalities after vaccination. Of those, symptoms appeared after a week in 30.5%, and within a month in 86.8% . Furthermore, in 93.6% the symptoms resolved within 2 months . The majority had the symptoms after the first dose, while 32.4% after the second dose and 20.9% after both doses. When comparing AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Pfizer, differences in the incidence of menstrual abnormalities were statistically insignificant, 68.4%, 66.2%, 65.4%, respectively . Moreover, post-vaccination menstrual abnormalities symptoms and PCOS, thyroid disorders, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis were not associated .
Figure 2 Timeline for the onset and resolution of post-vaccination symptoms.
There was a significantly higher prevalence of menstrual abnormalities among those who also experienced other adverse effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccination, including fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, and arm pain . In addition, there was a statistically significant association with the objective severity grade for vaccine general side effects .
Table 1 Menstrual Symptoms Post-Vaccination and During COVID-19 Pandemic n
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Covid Vaccine Effect On The Menstrual Cycle: What Are The Reported Menstrual Irregularities
It seems that most reports of the COVID vaccine effect on the menstrual cycle involve periods showing up earlier and being more painful than usual. But keep in mind that these reports of period changes are unofficial and unverified. It remains to be determined exactly why this is happening.
Some period irregularities have been noted in women with COVID-19 infection, but nothing has been officially reported in relation to the vaccines. Unfortunately, theres nothing in vaccine clinical trial data regarding menstrual changes. More on why that is, below.
How Could The Vaccine Alter People’s Menstrual Cycle
Dr Jackie Maybin, Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Consultant Gynaecologist said: “It is very difficult to know if these changes are a direct effect of the vaccine itself or are due to wider effects of the pandemic. Menstrual disturbance has also been reported in those experiencing acute COVID-19 and long COVID.” In addition, stress is an extremely common cause of disruption to periods, and many people have been going through a very stressful time during the pandemic.
Dr Maybin said the mechanisms causing effects on menstruation are difficult to properly identify, as they may differ from person to person.
“Menstrual disturbance may be due to effects on the part of the brain that controls the reproductive hormones, effects on the ovaries or effects directly on the lining of the womb, which is what is shed during a period.”
They also explain the science behind changes in menstruation following vaccination.
“In times of stress, the internal reproductive system is designed to temporarily downregulate to prevent pregnancy and conserve energy. This effect may explain some of the changes in menstruation, with COVID-19 or with vaccination.”
Dr Maybin suggests that inflammation as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine could affect the ovaries in the short term. As this might alter their hormone production over one or two cycles, people might have irregular or heavier bleeding while on their period.
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How Long Do These Changes Last
According to Dr. Jordan, vaccine studies have shown that most of these changes are for the first few days following vaccination and quickly resolve.
Consistent with this is that when report changes to their period, it is most commonly only in their immediate cycle, with subsequent cycles returning to baseline, she added.
Dr. Jordans advice to readers who do experience changes to their menstrual cycles after receiving a vaccine was as follows:
It depends on what the change is for any missed periods, always check a pregnancy test after all, common things are still common! If you are experiencing pain significant or persistent changes in your menses, check in with a healthcare professional. Our cycles are biologically complex, so a variety of things can affect them, and your healthcare provider can evaluate. I would also reassure anyone who has just experienced an abnormal period immediately following vaccination that there is now fairly large-scale evidence that there is no ill effect on fertility or pregnancy and patterns suggest their subsequent cycles should normalize.
he main thing is just take care of yourself. ake it easy if youre uncomfortable, Dr. Clancy also advised. f you are experiencing much more than expected, youre feeling faint, if youre having an exceptionally heavy period or its lasting multiple weeks, you should go see a doctor, she added.
She also advised women who experience any bleeding after menopause to seek medical advice.
Lifestyle And Mental Health Change After Covid
After receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, 78.3% reported side effects, including fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, and arm pain, which in 14.4% were described as severe. In addition to common post-vaccination side effects, 56.2% of participants reported that the gynaecological abnormalities they experienced after vaccination significantly impacted their quality of life. This impact led 15.2% of those who experienced any menstrual abnormalities to visit a gynaecologist for regular check-up. Table 2 demonstrates the different ways participants coped with post-vaccine menstrual abnormalities.
Table 2 Participants Reaction to the Menstrual Abnormalities After Vaccination
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Is It Safe To Take Covid Vaccine During Menstruation
The fourth and the biggest phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive commenced on May 1, 2021. Registrations have finally opened up for all the population above the age of eighteen. We are going through a time when our nation is struggling with the worst crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. In this situation, getting vaccinated is the need of the hour for us.
However, several myths are doing the rounds, clouding peoples judgement about taking the vaccine. And one such misinformation surfacing on social media and WhatsApp forwards is that women should not get vaccinated during menstruation. We urge you to not rely on unverified sources for such content and verify the facts from a doctor.
Taking Back The Monthly Menstrual Period
Whether or not you have been sick with COVID-19 or received a vaccine, if you experience a change in your periods during the pandemic, the first step is to consider whether you could be pregnant. If you confirm that youre not expecting and you miss a period for a month or two but youre otherwise feeling fine, its not something to panic about, Streicher says.
The changes may be due to the stress of the pandemic or to changes in your lifestyle habits. Still, its wise to check in with your ob-gyn, Streicher says. Most reports about irregular periods during a COVID infection are anecdotal. There are no studies that document menstrual changes beyond what is expected from other illness, and reassuringly, irregular cycles return to normal within a few months, she says.
The International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology put out a statement that “there is no reason to think that SARS-CoV-2 has any impact on abnormal uterine bleeding of any type, including the symptoms of heavy and/or irregular menstrual bleeding.” Getting some advice and reassurance about this issue will give you one less thing to feel stressed about.
Additional reporting by Monroe Hammond.
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Can Menstruation Protect You From Covid
During one cycle of menstruation, the female hormone oestrogen goes up for a certain period of time. This chemical has long been associated with good immune response to infections, including the viral ones like COVID-19. A growing body of research suggests that oestrogen helps your immune in the production of antibodies which fight against infections and foreign bodies. Moreover, they inhibit physiological processes that trigger inflammatory response, a common attribute of many infections including COVID-19. Recently, a Chinese study found that menopause has a protective effect against the novel coronavirus. The researchers observed that non-menopausal women had to stay in the hospital for shorter duration, and the severity of their COVID-19 infection was way lower than those who had hit menopause.
To Study The Effects Of The Covid Vaccine On Womens Menstrual Cycle Which Data Have You Been Tracking
I guess scientifically, thinking about why this could be happening, I mean, I think any agent that triggers an immune response could plausibly influence cellular processes in the uterus and ovaries that could have an impact on menstruation. Whether the effect might be short term or long term, or whether the effect is evident when we compare women who didnt have any changes in their menses, we need to make sure that we study them, as well. And in addition to asking them about their lifestyle, their behaviors, their diet, a range of different exposures, we also ask them about their menstruation. And we also invite them to use a menstrual charting app, where they can track lots of information about their menstrual characteristics. And so, and in addition to that, we were able to add new questions on COVID vaccination and also COVID infection. And also stressors related to the COVID pandemic, which could plausibly confound these associations. And so well be able to look at the COVID vaccination and changes in menstruation during six cycles of follow up, using multiple sources of data.
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Long Covid Affects Menstrual Cycle
Over the past few months, a worldwide increasing number of COVID patients. They are experiencing a prolonged state of ill health for months after getting sick, this is referred to as long COVID. COVID-19 symptoms start as mild symptoms and gradually get worse over a few days.
COVID-19 symptoms should disappear around 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms. Therefore, many people continue to experience disruptive symptoms of COVID-19. People with long COVID often struggle with symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, headaches, or muscle aches for many weeks or months after the initial disease has been treated.
Many women with coronavirus keep experiencing COVID-19 symptoms for months even after the disease has been subsided. These long Covid symptoms also affected their menstrual cycles.
How does COVID-19 impact women?
The virus causing COVID-19 causing is considered to be less dangerous for women than men. But women are at a higher risk of long COVID complications.
The COVID-19 affected a woman’s reproductive system. Women with long COVID have spoken about how this prolonged state of illness has affected their menstrual cycles, and how it affects their quality of life. More and more women are reporting that COVID-19 has affected their menstrual cycle.
How does COVID-19 impact your menstrual cycle?
The menstrual problems may be the buildup of stress and anxiety, which could affect hormonal functioning and cause reproductive irregularities.