Thankfully, the development of a COVID-19 vaccine lived up to its name: Operation Warp Speed. Generally, medical research moves much more slowly, and when it comes to women’s health, often not at all. We may not see any large-scale studies ahead on the effects of COVID-19 or the vaccines on reproductive health and menstruation, but there is anecdotal evidence and small studies that do shed some light on those topics.
Medical News Today* interviewed sufferers of what is being called “long Covid,” where symptoms last weeks or months after the initial symptoms. They found the subjects reported “irregular periods, unusual clotting of their period blood, or worsened PMS (premenstrual syndrome). The symptoms were serious enough to affect the quality of life for some and to have an impact on emotional health.
Does Covid-19 Affect Your Period?
The interviewer also found that menstrual cycles in those with long Covid were longer; cycles were skipped altogether, or the time between them lengthened.
In a 2021 study, 24% of patients had cycles lasting longer than 37 days. 20% of the 177 patients with Covid studied, found a decreased volume of menstrual blood. A recent article in Healthline* takes a look at that study and also poses questions about the effects of the Covid vaccines on menstruation.
“There hasn’t been any research done to directly link changes in menstruation with the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Patients from the Medical News Today article also reflected on the frustration and the toll the lack of information has taken on them; one patient recognized there is much doctors don’t know but felt that she was not cared for rather than having her practitioner simply admit that.
Have you noticed a difference in your menstrual cycle or that of someone you love? If you’re willing to share your experience, we’d love to hear from you. Visit: p.s.-Period Stories to share your story.
*Doctors in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive health were consulted or reviewed in the articles.