Has COVID-19 affected women’s menstrual cycles?


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Hannah Kahn obtained COVID-19 in mid-November and hoped to obtain the period shortly thereafter. When he never arrived, at first he didn’t think much about it.

“I was just worried about having COVID-19 and anxious about it,” she said. Also, as someone who has been there for five years, Kahn has experience of missing a period or getting it too late.

But they spent December, January and February, and I still didn’t have the rule. Since he finally got it in March, his cycle has been largely erratic.

Kahn has also had some lasting symptoms of COVID-19, such as an alteration in taste and smell. When he spoke with his primary care physician and gynecologists about his irregular periods, they agreed that it was probably also due to COVID-19, but “none seemed to be so worried.”

“But obviously I was worried about that,” Kahn said, “because it’s my body. And I don’t want anything permanently over which I have no control to change.”

For a while, not hearing anyone else talk about her periods or having similar symptoms made her “feel crazy”. He devoted himself to doing his own research and found that this was happening to others.

He found that when he is ill, rising levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) can affect whether or not he eats the diet, as well as diet, exercise and changes in daily routines, which many people they experienced during the pandemic.

Others had experiences similar to those of Kahn, where they felt isolated or alone until they realized that the others had similar symptoms.

Leah Abrams, 23, is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and graduated from Duke in 2020. She met Kahn, 23, in New York City.

Abrams has been monitoring the birth rate since he was 16 and has had a regular period for as long as he can remember. Thus, when it began to be detected in the middle of a pack of pills a week after the end of the period, it was noticed very quickly.

For three weeks, he detected continuously, although he was weeks away from the following period. He had no idea what was going on: “I thought maybe I was eating something” was his best guess.

It wasn’t until a friend sent a text message to her group chat to ask if anyone else had a weird period after the first vaccine against COVID-19 that she realized what might be going on. But when he went to the doctor in April to make sure everything was going well, they didn’t think much about his theory. They offered to do an ultrasound, but Abrams said his suppliers were “quite ruled out” of his proposed connection between the vaccine and his identification.

“I think this is a function that women don’t cross or study in general,” she said. “We don’t know what the long-term impacts will be because no one thought of prioritizing this in the approval process or in the trials, at least as far as I know.”

Abrams had no other problems after the vaccine and found it to be globally safe and effective.

“But I think it’s indicative of that broader kind of question about who we value and what issues are prioritized.”

How can COVID-19 affect periods?

Research on the impact of coronavirus or vaccines it is not yet extensive. Although there is anecdotal evidence that COVID-19 affects periods, “specific data on the frequency of this phenomenon is scarce,” according to Medical News Today. There is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, directly affects periods, but it can respond to the virus. What Kahn found on the Internet about rising stress levels affecting periods is checked by experts.

“And you are running a , this is a significant stress and there may be a good chance of not ovulating, and this will cause menstrual irregularities, “explained Dr. Thomas Price, and infertility specialist at Duke University. Other physiological effects of COVID-19, such as not being able to eat and being tired, can also cause high levels of stress.

And there is a direct correlation between menstrual cycles and stress, anxiety and depression, according to Price. He noted that stress levels among individuals have increased during the pandemic, much of which is associated with isolation from staying at home and restricting social life. When stress affects hormone production, menstrual cycles can be disrupted.

Along with psychological stress, such as moving, exams, and experiencing a pandemic, Price noted that other events can cause changes in menstrual cycles, such as weight gain or loss, which many may also have experienced during pregnancy. pandemic.

The uterine lining contains immune cells that help protect the uterus, and according to the Associated Press, some gynecologists believe that when the lining comes off during menstruation, COVID-19 vaccines can affect periods. There is no evidence that vaccines affect fertility.

“People are very scared to talk about it”

Stigmas around periods and they make it difficult to start conversations, so it is difficult to help those who have periods to access care and understand their symptoms when there are problems.

When he began his identification and his doctor dismissed his concerns, Abrams, like Kahn, described feeling “really crazy for a second.” When her friend came to the group chat and others described similar issues, she felt validated.

Kahn also noted that “when it comes to issues that mostly affect women, it’s not uncommon for there to be some sort of lag in the medical community’s response to recognizing it as a real thing.”

For Kahn, the experience revealed the “broader context of stigma around periods.”

“This is something that happens to almost half of the adult population, but it’s still hard for us to talk about it,” he said. “In an ideal world, we would be talking about COVID-19 changing the period in the same way we talk about COVID-19 affecting your sense of taste and smell.”

Can COVID-19 vaccines affect my period?

© 2021 The News & Observer. Distributed to Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: “People are so scared to discuss it”: Has COVID-19 affected women’s menstrual cycles? (2021, July 13) Retrieved July 13, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-people-discuss-covid-affected-women.html

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