Womens Periods May Be Late After Coronavirus Vaccination Study Suggests
An analysis of thousands of menstrual records offers support for anecdotal reports of erratic cycles after shots.
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Shortly after coronavirus vaccines were rolled out about a year ago, women started reporting erratic menstrual cycles after receiving the shots.
Some said their periods were late. Others reported heavier bleeding than usual or painful bleeding. Some postmenopausal women who hadnt had a period in years even said they had menstruated again.
A study published on Thursday found that womens menstrual cycles did indeed change following vaccination against the coronavirus. The authors reported that women who were inoculated had slightly longer menstrual cycles after receiving the vaccine than those who were not vaccinated.
Their periods themselves, which came almost a day later on average, were not prolonged, however, and the effect was transient, with cycle lengths bouncing back to normal within one or two months. For example, someone with a 28-day menstrual cycle that starts with seven days of bleeding would still begin with a seven-day period, but the cycle would last 29 days. The cycle ends when the next period starts and would revert to 28 days within a month or two.
At the same time, he added, the changes seen in the study were not significant and appeared to be transient.
Factors Associated With Menstrual Abnormalities After Covid
Our results showed that there were no significant associated with age, number of children, marital status, vaccination type, previous history of COVID-19 infection, previous diagnosis including PCOS, thyroid disorders, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis, stopping or starting any king of contraceptive method, history of coagulation disorders , menstrual cycle length, and duration of menstruation . However, there was a significant relationship with country of residence , irregular cycles , smoking , menstrual abnormalities during the COVID-19 pandemic , negative impact on quality of life , symptoms of COIVD-19 vaccine general symptoms , objective severity grade for vaccine general side effects , and severity of COVID-19 infection .
Limited Data On Effects Of Covid Vaccines
The study monitored the six consecutive cycles after getting a jab. However, the study only looked at the vaccines produced by BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Women who received the AstraZeneca vaccine were not included in the study. More than half of the vaccinated received the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine 35% received Moderna, and 7% the J& J/Janssen.
So not all COVID-19 vaccines available in different countries have been considered. One other factor to keep in mind: This study only looked at one of the points raised. According to the study itself, questions remain about other possible changes in menstrual cycles, such as menstrual symptoms, unscheduled bleeding, and changes in the quantity of menstrual bleeding.
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The Life Cycle Of A Covid
And many people did notice changes to their menstrual cycles. A survey conducted by anthropologists found numerous reports of unusually heavy flows and even breakthrough bleeding among some people who hadn’t menstruated in years.
Anti-vaccine activists capitalized on other anecdotal reports from social mediausing them to make unfounded claims that the vaccines were being used to spread infertility and ultimately depopulate the earth.
Heavy Periods And Breakthrough Bleeding
Drs. Lee and Clancy decided to start investigating the phenomenon of period changes after a COVID-19 vaccine after they both experienced some kind of change to their menstrual cycles after receiving their own vaccines.
t happened to me first, and I reached out to some of my friends who I knew were vaccinated and asked them if theyd noticed anything , and a few people noted that their period was a little bit worse than usual , or people who normally dont have a period noting that they had cramps or a little bit of spotting, which they would normally not have , Dr. Lee told us.
When Dr. Clancy also experienced period changes after her vaccine, she shared her experience in a , which quickly gained traction. Afterward, Drs. Lee and Clancy set up an online survey to collect as much self-reported data as possible about the menstrual cycle-related reactions that people were experiencing after COVID-19 vaccines. Their research is ongoing.
The researchers do not have data on how frequently period changes might occur among those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and they also caution that experiencing such changes is not universal, just as getting fever and headache universal the vaccine.
In fact, Dr. Clancy noted, judging by the preliminary data that they were able to gather, for the most part, the most common is actually nothing happening at all.
MNT also heard from regularly menstruating people who experienced heavier or unusual periods after getting their vaccines.
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If There Is A Link Should People Be Worried
The next question to ask is whether a change to periods, if it is due to vaccination, should be a cause for concern. A short term change in the heaviness or regularity of periods almost always settles on its own among those who haven’t been vaccinated. The obvious questions are:
- Will any change be temporary or long term?
- Will this have an impact on the effectiveness of my contraception?
- Could it affect my fertility in the longer term?
Can the COVID vaccine affect the menstrual cycle?
Menstrual Cycle Features And The Covid
Unfortunately, questions about menstruation have been excluded from most large-scale COVID-19 studies , so it is currently unclear how many women have experienced menstrual cycle changes, how long these changes persisted, whether menstrual changes reflect common and expected fluctuation in menstrual features over time or the impact of an exposure and what exactly this exposure is. Given this complexity, the impact of any menstrual changes since the start of the pandemic is also unclear. Even outside the context of COVID-19, studying menstrual cycle features is challenging. Normal variation exists within women over the lifespan and between women in relation to characteristics such as history of infertility, parity, body mass index and exercise. In addition, menstrual cycle features such as volume, pain and PMS symptoms are subjective and data are necessarily collected, in health care as well as research, by self-report.
How the pandemic mitigation/control factors and COVID-19 illness, treatment and vaccines may impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian-endometrial axis to alter menstrual frequency, duration, regularity and/or volume
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Even More Menstrual Cycle Disruptions For Women With Endo Or Pcos
Evidence from the study published in BMJ, which included about 1,200 women with records of their menstrual cycles and vaccination dates, showed that people with a preexisting diagnosis of endometriosis or PCOS were more likely to notice disruptions to their cycle than people without those diagnoses.
That could suggest that, in some people who are already vulnerable to cycle disruptions, the vaccines could be having an effect, says Victoria Male, PhD, one of the study authors and a lecturer in reproductive immunology in the department of metabolism, digestion, and reproduction at Imperial College London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Campus in the United Kingdom.
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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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Covid Vaccine Brings Temporary Irregularities In The Menstrual Cycle: Study
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to haunt humanity for the last two years, with the infection graphs going up and down after intervals across the globe. The vaccine against the infection has augmented the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and has saved lives and helped in taking human life back on track.
However, a short menace accompanied the event of mass vaccination efforts, and that is the menstrual disturbance in females being reported.
In a recently published article in the world’s most-cited open-access journal in the field of immunology, ‘Frontiers in Immunology‘, the Indian researchers have reported that menstrual troubles included delay or early menstruation, heavier bleeding pattern, painful sessions and breakthrough bleeding.
The paper “Understanding the trauma of menstrual irregularity after COVID vaccination: a bird’s-eye view of female immunology” has compiled data from the reports of three countries showing significant figures on this subject. A US cohort of 2,403 females showed that 55 per cent of females receiving the Pfizer vaccine, 35 per cent relating to Moderna and 7 per cent linking to the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine changed their cycle length. The Norwegian young adult cohort also informed heavier bleeding, an increase in the duration of menstruation and even a shortening of interval between two cycles. In the UK cohort of 39,591 females, menstrual disturbances were also testified.
Needless To Say Covid Has Caused A Lot Of Stress In Peoples Lives And In Particular Women Research Has Shown Is It Possible Thats Causing Menstruation Changes
Theres a lot more research out there on the effects of chronic stress and fertility. I dont know as much about menstruation, but theres certainly a link between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis that produces stress hormones and the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that produces ovarian hormones that are important for menstruation. So, there is quite a bit of literature on the connectedness, the interrelatedness between those two axes. And so, for sure in PRESTO and many previous studies, we have found that higher levels of perceived stress, as measured by the perceived stress scale, have been associated with reduced fertility. And that makes a lot of sense. So, certainly a part of the association were seeing here, or the anecdotal reports that were seeing when we look at vaccination and menstruation, could be driven by increased levels of stress related to the COVID pandemic. So, itll be very important to control for that. And, yes, I would say the evidence to support that is much clearer. Stress can harm reproduction, stress is negatively associated with menstruation.
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Covid Vaccine: Period Changes Could Be A Short
BBC Reality Check
At a Covid vaccine appointment, you will probably be warned of possible side effects – fever, headache, a sore arm for a day or two afterwards. Changes to the menstrual cycle will not appear on the list.
But women online around the world have started asking if early, heavy or painful periods might be an unlisted reaction to the jab.
Dr Kate Clancy, a medical anthropologist, shared on Twitter her experience of an unusually heavy period following the Moderna vaccine, and received dozens of similar accounts in response. With former colleague Dr Katharine Lee, she launched a survey documenting people’s experiences.
We don’t yet know whether the vaccine is causing these changes – it hasn’t been studied. It’s possible women post-vaccination were more likely to notice or attribute changes, particularly after hearing about others’ experiences.
But Dr Victoria Male, a reproductive immunologist at Imperial College London, said some post-menopausal women, and people taking hormones which stop their periods, have reported bleeding. So she’s inclined to suspect there may be a physical reaction occurring.
A number of trans men and post-menopausal women who don’t normally have periods got in touch with Drs Clancy and Lee saying they had experienced bleeding after the jab.
Outstanding Research Questions And Considerations
In we provide a list of outstanding questions that could be applied to studies of any menstrual cycle feature.
Studies that minimize selection and reporting bias, control for key confounders , and use harmonized or standardized definitions of menstrual cycle features and COVID-19/Long Covid, are needed. Researchers will need to consider whether they can feasibly disentangle and identify effects of the various exposures for a growing proportion of the population who have been exposed to most or all of them. To be most informative for the global population of women and people who menstruate, future research should continue to focus on populations from a variety of countries and settings. Nine of the 12 studies in and were conducted on populations from low- or middle-income countries and three were open to people from any country . For their target populations, future studies should consider and adequately describe the situation with the pandemic , social attitudes to menstruation, awareness of menstrual health and availability and accessibility of menstrual products and health services. These factors provide much needed social context to enable findings to be interpreted and compared across populations.
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So Has The Study Begun And Is There Any Progress You Can Talk About
Yes, we have started cleaning the data and taking a look at the distribution of some of the variables that were interested in, like the menstrual characteristics. Part of the challenge is trying to identify the precise timing of the vaccination relative to each menstrual cycle. So, weve been doing a lot of additional coding and cleaning of the data. And so just looking at the first and second doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and the J& J dose, the first dose, we should be able to produce some results by spring 2022. And be able to look at those short-term and long-term effects over a six-month period. And then if theres any interest in looking at the effects of the boosterwhich youve probably heard that the CDC is recommending that all adults get their booster shots at this point, not just specific subgroups who are at high risk. So, all adults are now being encouraged to get a booster. We would anticipate that as the prevalence of that increases, we will be able to start looking at the effects of the booster administration. Maybe by the summertime we should have some results there or next fall. So, the key thing is to be able to look not only at short-term effects, but also long-term effects, to see if these vaccination effects, if they do exist, if they linger or go away.
Digital Solutions Can Help Get Some Answers
The development of effective coronavirus vaccines has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in recent history. After months of lockdown, the arrival of vaccines has been a light at the end of the tunnel, allowing many people to slowly return to normal life. However, in recent months, women have repeatedly reported period irregularities after receiving coronavirus vaccines. Data4Life takes a look at the information available on the topic, the current state of research, and how digital solutions can make a difference.
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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
What About Women Who Might Be Thinking About Pregnancy Loss And Vaccination
So, it is not as alarming as one would thinkpregnancy loss is actually pretty common. Its about 20 percent of all confirmed pregnancies. So, all pregnancies that might be confirmed by a home pregnancy test, about 20 percent of them do result in a loss after that point. So, its much more common than scientists initially conceived. And there have been two studies that have come out at least showing no effect of COVID vaccination on miscarriage. The data have been pretty limited. Theyve been looking at later losses because theyve been using claims databases. Some of them actually might rely on self reported data. I dont know if youve heard of the v-safe. So, its basically when I got my vaccination I actually got invited to participate. Its like this link that was sent to me and I just filled it out based on how I was feeling, what are my symptoms. And Id get a questionnaire through my text messages, I think it was like every week after I was first vaccinated, and then it was like every month thereafter. That is a sort of national dataset of individuals who did opt in to complete the questionnaires after they were vaccinated. And that study also did not find any association between COVID vaccination and miscarriage.
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