Periods And Vaccine: Can The Covid Vaccine Cause Irregular Bleeds
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has said that it does not support a link. Males opinion? That we dont know of a link at current, and that not enough research has been done to directly link the vaccine to changes in your menstrual cycle.
Guerrini agrees, adding that although reports are saying that over 30,000 women in the UK are reporting irregular menstrual cycles or period pain after their Covid jab, there is no concrete scientific evidence to prove that the jab is the reason for these changes.
Throughout your lifetime, your menstrual cycle changes continuously, she explains. Most commonly, your cycle will change due to age-related hormonal changes. However, there are other external factors which can affect your cycle such as stress, lifestyle changes, medications and certain health conditions.
Itd be an understatement to say that the last seventeen months have been stressful, and most of you have face uncertainty, changes and grief at some point. Its not surprising to see that menstrual cycles have changed, shares the pharmacist. But its more likely to be due to these stressors than the vaccine, she explains.
We dont yet know if there is a causal link between altered #periods& #COVID19#vaccination. The changes are short-lived and there is no impact on fertility, so do we really need to work out whether they are caused by the vaccine?
I think we do.
Can Coronavirus Itself Disrupt Your Period
According to Jennifer Conti, an OB/GYN at Stanford University, the medical community doesnt have enough information about how COVID-19 affects other organ systems in your body.
That said, its not unreasonable to think that the physical and mental stress it places on your body could have downstream effects on your reproductive health, including the regularity of your menstrual cycle, Conti added.
The physical symptoms COVID-19 may place on your body like fever, nausea, diarrhea and possibly pneumonia may be to blame if you do have a disruption in your period, added Marsha Granese, an OB/GYN with Mission Hospital in Southern California. But this is generally short-term that extends for the duration of COVID-19 symptoms, she said.
And even if you dont get coronavirus, the effects of this time in our lives can definitely have an impact even if you take acute stress out of the equation.
Our period is influenced by our diet, sleep, exercise routines and more, said Natasha Bhuyan, a practicing family physician in Phoenix, Arizona, said. During this time of physical distancing, many people are experiencing a dramatic change in their usual routine. As a result, they might notice a missed period, spotting, or even a heavier flow than usual.
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Clancy has since taken to social media multiple times to clear up misconceptions about her survey and what she’s studying as it relates to the vaccines and how they may impact menstruation.
Earlier this month, she replied to someone saying there was something “very wrong” with a vaccine that may prompt those in menopause to have a period by saying, “I gladly took the vaccine & hope others take it. Our research is to bear witness, look at associations, understand mechanisms.”
“Just as we deserve to know if we might get a sore arm, fever, or fatigue after the vaccine, menstruators deserve to know if there is any likelihood of menstrual changes. This is especially true for folks with endo, menorrhagia, etc.,” Clancy added. “If we find associations between certain menstrual experiences and timing of the vaccine, health history, etc, that could help clinicians advise menstruators on how to avoid or handle adverse effects.”
Health experts have noted that menstrual changes have been documented in recent months outside of vaccinations as well.
A study published in January found that 50 of 177 patients, about 28%, with COVID-19 and menstrual records reported changes to their cycles after contracting the coronavirus, while 25% reported changes to the volume of their menstruation. Some replying to Clancy’s initial tweet reported they too had seen changes to their periods after contracting COVID.
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When Will Your Period Go Back To Normal
Dr Maybin stresses that if there is an effect from the vaccine, it should only lead to temporary changes that revert back to normal spontaneously within a short space of time.
“It is important to emphasise that any effects of the vaccine are likely to be short-lived and much less severe than those associated with COVID-19 infection,” they reassure.
Dr Jo Mountfield, Vice President of the RCOG, understands that any changes to periods following a COVID-19 vaccine can be concerning.
Therefore, they encourage anyone who experiences heavy bleeding that is unusual for them, especially after the menopause, to speak to a healthcare professional.
/7can Your Immune System Bring Changes To Your Menstrual Cycle
The strange changes, though may not be categorized as typical vaccine side-effects have become a cause of worry. While experts continue to peg them to be unrelated to vaccine’s working, what doctors do feel is that the irregularities and changes could possibly be fueled by our immune system.
Although reproductive side-effects are not associated with vaccines, there’s one way how our immune system could bring about changes to periods, all thanks to our hormones.
Women, unlike men, have a highly volatile hormonal system in place, and there are specific changes that come in through cycle lengths. For example, just as a woman is about to ovulate, the immune system receives a sort of a ‘signal’ to prevent infectious agents from disrupting the process of fertilization. Similar changes kick in once fertilization occurs successfully.
The cells present in the uterine linings also contain some immune cells, which could be affected by hormonal changes and create some mild, inflammatory reactions. So, in most cases, for women who may be in the middle or near to their ovulation cycles, the hormonal changes could drive some changes and if the ovulation doesn’t happen, the vaccine could end up spelling some changes to the period cycle.
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Can Covid Vaccines Change When My Period Comes
Some women are reporting slightly earlier and some women are reporting slightly later periods. However the timing of menstruation tends to be influenced by events that happen a couple of weeks earlier.
Emma explains that âin a typical 28 day cycle, ovulation will usually occur on day 14. The egg is released from the follicle and travels down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. The empty follicle then becomes a âcorpus luteumâ and secretes various hormones, particularly progesterone, which promotes gestation by preparing the uterus for pregnancy. If the egg isnât fertilised, the corpus luteum degenerates, the hormone levels fall, and the uterus lining breaks down and is shed, which is what we experience as a period. All of these events take place in the fortnight before actual menstruation.â
When It Comes To Getting Your Second Dose On Time Take Steps To Avoid The Avoidable
There will always be things in life you can’t control, so it’s important to take control of the things that you can.
Since the timing between COVID-19 vaccine doses may impact the vaccine’s effectiveness, it’s important to take steps to help ensure you get your second dose on schedule.
Here are three things you can do to help make sure you get your second dose on time:
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Cara Delevingne Wants To Peg The Patriarchy
The model turned up at the Met gala wearing a white vest emblazoned with the phrase. Not only did that get a massive eyeroll from people sick of performative activism, it sparked a trademark controversy. It seems that someone filed a trademark for the phrase in 2017. First we leverage intellectual property law to monetize the patriarchy, then we peg it, I guess! In other news, AOC also caused quite a kerfuffle with her Met gala dress.
Heavy And Unusual Bleeding
A number of people told Pharmaceutical Technology that they had noticed changes to their menstrual cycles after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine dose. For example, 24-year-old Chloe Richardson said she experienced unusual bleeding after her first jab.
I have an implant and I havent had a period since October, which is the norm for me, she said. Then about two weeks after my first dose, I had a heavy period for around ten days.
Nicole Brockman, 48, also said her period was extremely heavy after both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
It did surprise me, she said. It was really heavy for about two to three days, much heavier than Ive experienced since I was probably in my twenties, or maybe even ever.
But I didnt really think much of it, because Id never heard of this as a symptom.
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Is There Any Research On Covid
Not really. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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. Several dozen women reported having heavier-than-usual periods, painful cramps, and unusual menstrual cycles after being vaccinated. But given that anyone can submit anything to the system, it’s all just anecdotal at this point.
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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Stress And Other Benign Factors Can Play A Role Too
Certainly, a number of physical and mental stressors associated with the Covid-19 pandemic have affected everyone this past year, including women,” Doyle said. To say that the vaccine alone is the sole perpetrator of menstrual irregularities is perhaps a pedestrian explanation of this multipart cause.”
And there are many other reasons for menstrual irregularity including, weight gain, weight loss, diet, travel and even exercise,” Tahery said.
/7can Getting A Covid
A lot has been said and discussed about coronavirus vaccines and the different, unusual side-effects they can lead to. While vaccines are known to affect every individual a bit differently, startling effects have right now been seen with women and their menstrual cycles.
From a lot of emerging evidence available globally, COVID-19 vaccines have been seen to postpone periods for some women, or ‘alter’ menstrual cycles altogether. The observations have made many put off vaccination, or even worry about if their ‘side-effects’ are alright. While a lot of women have seemingly observed these differences shortly after vaccination, no scientific evidence has been linked to the same. So, what’s really causing these unusual side-effects?
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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.
For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.
/7scepticism And Myths Could Contribute To Hesitancy
Again, while experts continue to look into the matter, experts emphasize that women worldwide must be educated on the possible side-effects, and know how to separate fact from fiction to curb any hesitancy related to inoculation. Women currently are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 risks, and also less inoculated than men. Hence, awareness, and counselling of possible side-effects will quell fears and hesitancy.
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Ok But What Could Be Going On Here
Experts say it’s really hard to know for sure. For those women who report more pain than usual, “it may be that aches and pains post-vaccine compound normal menstrual pains,”infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Maryland, tells Health.
The heavier flow is a little trickier to explain. A small study of 233 women of childbearing age with clinically diagnosed COVID-19 reported some menstrual changes. Of the 177 patients with records about their periods, 25% had “menstrual volume changes,” 20% had a lighter-than-usual period, and 19% had a longer-than-usual cycle, according to the study, which was published in January in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online. While it’s possible that the COVID-19 vaccine could have a similar effect, it’s not known at this time.
The idea that a vaccine might affect a woman’s cycle is a tough one to explain from a biological standpoint, though, Mark Turrentine, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, tells Health. “There is no biologic mechanism that would account for disruption of the menstrual cycle following receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he says. Dr. Turrentine also points out that unusual vaginal bleeding “was not a side effect reported in any of the clinical trials from the vaccine manufacturers,” adding, “no large-scale adverse events regarding irregular menstrual bleeding have been noted to date.”
What This Means For You
No matter what part of your menstrual cycle you are in, you should not skip out on the COVID-19 vaccine. Testing assures that the three FDA-approved vaccines are safe and effective. The risk of severe infection and menstrual problems from long COVID-19 far exceeds any unproven risk from the vaccine. If you have any concerns about immunization, you should speak with a trusted healthcare professional.
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What Is Chemical Stress
Women who are taking medications for seizure disorders, diabetes, thyroid conditions, hypertension, depression or other conditions might notice irregularities with their menstrual cycles. These medications can interfere with the hormones that are responsible for menstruation. Some may even cause loss of menstruation, says Dr. Fyffe.
Periods And The Immune System
The immune response is temporarily muted during certain phases of the menstrual cycle. According to a 2018 review in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, the body tones down the immune response to ensure the most viable eggs are available to fertilize with any sperm.
The 2018 review suggests the body may be trading some immunity for a better shot at getting pregnant. This could explain why some people see flare-ups for disease and greater risk of infection during different parts of the menstrual cycle.
The reason for the decreased immunity may be due to the need for less immune cells that would attack an implanted embryo,” Kim Langdon, MD, an OB-GYN at Medzino based in Ohio, tells Verywell.
Langdon says there is little research on whether the changing phases of the menstrual cycle also change how well the vaccines will work, but she thinks it’s not likely.
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