Researchers say that 54% of participants had menstrual cycle disruption in 2020 – due to COVID stress, as opposed to any kind of vaccination
There is a constant anecdotal murmur that vaccination may or may not disrupt menstrual cycles, with notes swapped between communities on which brand and how many days and whether there was increased pain. In fact, the NIH funded $1.67 million to five institutions to look into this situation and gain some understanding about whether there is a widespread issue.
But what about before vaccination?
People began reporting issues with their periods a long time before vaccines. To investigate this, scientists at Northwestern University gathered data from 200 US women and people who menstruate, between July and August 2020.
They found that over half of the people involved, 54% to be exact, experienced changes to their menstrual cycles – due to the stresses of COVID-19, whether they were infected or not.
Lead and corresponding author Nicole Woitowich, research assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: “We know added stress can negatively impact our overall health and well-being, but for women and people who menstruate, stress can also disrupt normal menstrual cycle patterns and overall reproductive health.”
The stress of a global pandemic is certainly enough to qualify as an influential factor.
Research has previously confirmed that menstrual cycle irregularities reported by women and people who experience mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, or by those who are facing acute life stressors such as natural disasters, displacement, famine or defection.
“This data is unsurprising” says researcher
“Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and its significant impact on mental health, this data is unsurprising and confirms many anecdotal reports in the popular press and on social media,” Woitowich said.
“Reproductive health should not be ignored in the context of COVID-19. We are already seeing the ripple effects of what happens when we fail to consider this important facet of women’s health as many are now experiencing menstrual cycle irregularities as a result of the COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 infection.”
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