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COVID-19 Vaccination: Are You Facing Changes In Menstrual Cycle After COVID Vaccine Jab?

Among the primary questions and concerns related to the COVID vaccines, 'Is It Safe To Take COVID Vaccine During Menstruation?' has been one of the common ones. With WhatsApp Universities and Facebook Scientists claiming that the COVID Vaccines can harm the female body or make one bleed blue, Boldsky would like to interject and give you, our readers, the verified and fact-checked information regarding COVID-19 Vaccination and Menstrual Cycle.

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Is It Safe To Take COVID Vaccine During Menstruation?

In a single word, yes. While headache, pain in the injected region, fever, fatigue and nausea are the common side-effects after COVID-19 vaccination, some women have reported experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle after getting vaccinated [1].

The common changes described in the reports include heavy periods, bleeding between periods and vaginal bleeding after menopause.

As of now, there are no studies to support the link between vaccination and the changes in the menstrual cycle. Several women have reported changes in their menstrual cycle, like experiencing late or early periods and heavy bleeding. Doctors point out that there is no scientific evidence to show that vaccination can alter cycles and bleeding patterns.

So, why is there a change in menstruation for these women?

Reason 1: One plausible reason behind the changes in the menstrual cycle after getting COVID vaccinated could be because of the impact the vaccine has on the immune system [2]. As the vaccine directly impacts the immune system, it causes the uterine lining to shed, resulting in spotting and early periods, or heavy bleeding [3].

Reason 2: Another reason for menstrual cycle disruption could be stress. It is possible that stress or disrupted sleep, or potentially disrupted body temperature could affect the menstrual cycle. Many are also experiencing stress and anxiety due to the pandemic, added experts. Stress might cause some variations in your period pattern, such as making them mildly heavy or slightly irregular [4].

Reason 3: Inflammation due to vaccination is another plausible reason as the timing of ovulation (when an egg is released) can be affected by inflammation. Vaccines cause an inflammatory response in the body, causing the system to produce the antibodies and other cells that fight disease, thereby causing painful periods [5].

According to Dr Tanaya Narendra, an award-winning, internationally trained medical doctor, embryologist, and scientist who is passionate about medical education and, in my opinion, one of the best go-to doctors for us millennials, "We have some anecdotal evidence that the vaccine may cause a temporary change in your periods. The keyword is temporary, again. That's because the endometrium (the inside lining of the uterus) has an immune role in protecting the uterus and maintaining its microbiome. Studies are underway to understand this."

The doctor added, "That said, it's very important to remember that we've all had a few very, very stressful months which can impact our periods!"

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It is important to understand that the menstrual cycle is a natural bodily process that does not decrease or limit your body's immune response. During the menstrual period, there'll be hormonal changes that might minimally impact the way you react to side effects or an illness.

Vaccines work on our bodies by injecting an inactive or modified pathogen strain to start an immune response, and your menstrual cycle or any other bodily processes cannot impact this reaction [6].

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One of the other claims making rounds is that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can cause miscarriage [7]. According to global reports on women who have had the jab, they are at no higher risk of pregnancy loss. Even if a link between COVID-19 vaccines and a temporary change in menstrual cycles is eventually shown, this does not have any implications for getting pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy.

At the end of the day, if you notice any irregularity in your menstrual cycle, it is due to the stress and anxiety stemming from the pandemic or any other reasons, and not due to the vaccine. Several experts have added that giving the vaccine to pregnant women is vital given that COVID-19 is more likely to be severe in pregnancy, affecting not just the mother but the baby, as pregnancies are more likely to be premature [8][9]. When pregnant women get vaccinated, they can pass on antibodies to their foetuses.

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Important Points To Keep In Mind

Firstly, if you are concerned about the vaccination interfering with your periods, schedule your vaccination after the cycle. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Dehydration can cause cramps during periods, which may worsen with the vaccination side effects - so make sure you stay two times more hydrated if you are getting vaccinated around or during your periods.
  • If a woman is bleeding more than usual, has a very long delay in periods, is undergoing drastic changes in the pattern for more than two cycles, consult a doctor immediately.
  • When menopausal women experience bleeding, it requires medical guidance [10].

On A Final Note...

There is no actual data or evidence to connect COVID-19 vaccines to your menstrual cycle. While several women have reported changes in their menstrual cycle, experts added that all these could be temporary side-effects and women should go ahead and get vaccinated without any worry.

Remember that many conditions can cause menstrual irregularities. Talk to your gynaecologist if you have concerns about your period and COVID-19 vaccination.

Story first published: Friday, July 2, 2021, 15:15 [IST]