Menstrual Cycle Changes After COVID Vaccine Are Temporary

Ernie Mandell and Robert Preidt

Health Day Reporter

THURSDAY, January 27, 2022 (HealthDay News). They made headlines recently, but the potential menstrual changes associated with getting a COVID vaccine are usually minor and temporary, two new international studies confirm.

This is great news for women, says a fertility and reproductive health expert.

“Studies from the UK, US, and Norway strongly support that the benefits of the COVID vaccine outweigh the risks and should be strongly encouraged in young women,” said Dr. Tomer Singer, Medical Director of the Shady Grove Fertility Clinic in New York City. . City.

Immunization is especially important, he said, because real and serious health risks “seen in unvaccinated pregnant women suffering from COVID-19.”

Although several studies discovered that vaccines do not affect human fertility, anti-vaccine rumors abound that vaccines can somehow affect the reproductive system.

In fact, many women have reported changes in their menstrual cycle after being vaccinated against COVID-19, and this has prompted researchers to look into the matter. Dr. Victoria Male, Lecturer in Reproductive Immunology at Imperial College London in England, reported on the findings from two large studies in an editorial published January 26 in BMJ.

One study included data on nearly 4,000 women in the US who recorded at least six consecutive menstrual cycles on a tracking app. Of these, more than 2,400 women received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

After controlling for other factors, the first dose of vaccine did not affect the timing of the follow-up period, while the second dose was associated with a mean delay of 0.45 days.

The 358 women most affected (average delay to next menstruation is 2.3 days) received both doses of the vaccine within the same time frame. Menstrual cycle, the study found. Among these women, 11% had a change in cycle length of more than eight days, which is considered clinically significant, compared with 4% of unvaccinated women.

However, in all vaccinated women, the duration of the menstrual cycle returned to normal within two cycles after vaccination.

In the second study of nearly 5,700 Norwegian women, at least one change in their menstrual cycle, such as unexpected breakthrough bleeding or more than usual menstrual pain, was reported by 39% after the first dose of the vaccine and 41% after the second. Doses…

The most common change reported was heavier than usual periods.

In both studies, any effect “reversed rapidly,” the journal notes in a press release.

For his part, Singer said he “has seen more than 1,500 patients in the last year, and less than 5% of them reported post-vaccination menstrual changes with no clinical relevance to their ability to conceive.”

“I urge every patient of reproductive age [18-50] who have concerns about the theoretical risks of receiving a vaccine, speak to an OB/GYN or seek the opinion of a fertility specialist so they can provide them with confidence and relevant data,” he added.

“At best, women should expect a change of about a week, which will correct itself no later than two months after the vaccine,” says Singer.

Male said there is still much to be learned about how vaccination interacts with reproductive pathways.

This includes understanding how menstrual changes occur after vaccination, determining if certain groups of women are particularly vulnerable so they can receive counseling, and more accurately determining the extent and duration of those changes, she says.

“The wide public interest in this topic highlights how relevant it is to the public,” concluded Male.

More information

More information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Tomer Singer, MD, Medical Director, Shady Grove Fertility, New York; BMJpress release, January 26, 2022

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