Does the COVID vaccine report menstrual changes?

The scientists who led the study wrote: “Menstrual and formerly menstruating people reported experiencing unexpected bleeding after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021. “. Because vaccine trials often don’t ask about menstrual cycles or bleeding, this side effect is largely ignored or dismissed.

Kathryn Clancy, a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who led the study with Katharine Lee, said: a professor of anthropology at Tulane University. Some doctors say it’s still unclear how the vaccine can cause such changes.


However, other vaccines — including typhoid, hepatitis B and HPV vaccines — have sometimes been linked to changes in menstruation, Clancy said. These side effects are thought to be related to an increase in immune-related inflammatory pathways and are less likely to be driven by hormonal changes.

“We suspect that for most people the changes related to COVID-19 vaccinations are short-term, and we encourage anyone with concerns to contact their doctor for further care. “, said Lee. “We would like to reiterate that immunization is one of the best ways to prevent severe illness with COVID, and we know that getting sick with COVID itself can not only lead to changes in stages but also leading to hospitalization, prolonged COVID, and death.”

COVID vaccine linked to menstrual changes

The researchers used a survey to ask people about their experiences after vaccination. Launched in April 2021, the survey asked for demographic and other information but focused on respondents’ reproductive history and experiences in relation to menstrual bleeding. The team downloaded data from the surveys on June 29, 2021. Only people who had not been diagnosed with COVID-19 were included in the analysis, as COVID-19 itself is sometimes involved. to menstrual changes. The study also excluded data from 45- to 55-year-olds to avoid confounding the results by including menstrual changes associated with perimenopause.

“We focused our analysis on people who had regular periods and those who weren’t currently menstruating but had been menstruating,” Clancy said. “The second group consisted of post-menopausal people and those on hormone therapy that suppresses menstruation, who were especially surprised when it came to bleeding.”

A statistical analysis found that 42.1% of menopause survey respondents reported more menstrual bleeding after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Some experienced this within the first seven days but many others saw changes 8-14 days after vaccination. The researchers reported that a nearly similar proportion, 43.6%, said their menstrual flow did not change after vaccination, and a smaller percentage, 14.3%, did not. there was a change or lighter flow, the researchers reported.

Because the study was based on self-reported experiences recorded more than 14 days after vaccination, it cannot establish a causal relationship or be considered predictive of those in the general population, Lee said. . But it could point to potential associations between a person’s reproductive history, hormonal status, demographics, and changes in menstruation after a COVID-19 vaccination.

For example, the analysis found that respondents who had been pregnant were more likely to experience bleeding after vaccination, with a slight increase in those who had not given birth. The majority of perimenopausal respondents who did not have a period during hormone therapy experienced breakthrough bleeding after vaccination. More than 70% of respondents using long-acting reversible contraception and 38.5% of those on sex-affirming hormone therapy reported this side effect.

Participants classified themselves as non-Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, or older, and those with fever or fatigue as a side effect of vaccination were more likely than other groups to report Heavy menstrual bleeding after vaccination. The team found that people who had experienced endometriosis, menorrhagia, fibroids or other fertility problems were also more likely to report heavy menstrual bleeding after the shot.

While an increase in menstrual flow for some people may be temporary and resolve quickly, sudden changes in menstruation can still be cause for concern, Lee says.

“This screening is important so we can detect cancers early,” Clancy said. “Anyone with sudden bleeding should see a doctor. For a diagnosis, it is helpful to know if there are other causes of bleeding.”

“We would love to see future vaccine testing protocols that incorporate menstrual questions in addition to pregnancy screening,” says Lee. “Menstruation is a regular process that responds to all sorts of immune and energetic stressors, and people notice changes to their bleeding patterns, but we don’t tend to tend to talk about it openly.”

Source: Eurekalert

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