We all mark the arrival of red days, i.e. menstrual cycles, in our calendars and keep an eye on Aunt Flow as we calculate our cycles, marking her arrival. But lately, either because of COVID 19 or because of COVID 19 vaccines, people have been reporting missing and “wobbly” menstrual cycles. This is one of the most common side effects and it’s time we looked at the impact of these vaccines on our periods.
Well, our waiting period is over as large-scale research and studies on the same phenomenon were published in Science Advances last week. This research is honestly a blessing as it validates all of our doubts and emotional turmoil. It was found that about 42% of participants who receive the COVID 19 vaccines experienced changes in their menstrual cycles and menstrual periods. Isn’t that more than shocking?
What types of menstrual cycle changes are these?
The types of changes observed by people around the world are on a very wide, varied and quite shocking spectrum. Some people just saw their menstrual cycles shift and change while others saw their cycles just stop which of course was very traumatic and worrying for them.
Meanwhile. some people had to deal with severe and crippling cramps as they were dealing with greater pain and that too with a lighter flow in their menstrual cycles which was surprising. Some people have ended up dealing with bigger flows and longer cycles.
Additionally, people living with hormonal deficiencies and conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have experienced very heavy periods. On the other hand, people who take oral contraceptives bleed vigorously after receiving the vaccine. 39% of participants on testosterone for gender-affirming therapy experienced a similar fate.
But, of course, the most shocking change of all was the fact that some people who had gone through menopause ended up having bleeding that looked like a menstrual cycle for the first time in years. This was very concerning for them and their families, as bleeding after menopause could otherwise be a sign of endometrial cancer.
What made this research so essential?
The empty feeling of not knowing if these changes were actually happening and the lack of validation were probably the best reason to do the study. moreover, the panic caused by the changes in the menstrual cycle has also made it very essential to grasp the essence of these changes and study them. This lack of information was causing unrest around the world and it was becoming imperative to curb this panic.
“Not knowing this was going to happen, not knowing the mechanism by which it happens and not being prepared for it to happen meant it was an unnecessarily scary experience for many people. It is extremely important to making sure people are prepared and not surprised. If you were going to get vaccinated and they didn’t tell you you had a fever the next day, that would be really worrying because you weren’t expecting it. that changes in menstrual bleeding can happen, at least people aren’t surprised. They aren’t shocked. They aren’t worried that something big is wrong. Katharine Lee, a biological anthropologist, who led the study, said.
Kathryn Clancy, co-author of this study, told Today: “There is a huge literature showing that medical mistrust is one of the driving forces that makes people reluctant to get vaccinated. Making sure people aren’t surprised or distressed and that they know what to expect is going to bring them a lot of comfort, right? »
This research brings us all information that we have been eagerly awaiting for a very long time. This also brings validation to our experiences and we cannot wait for official statements from the WHO on the same. It is time for our problems and experiences to be recognized and given official attention. Is not it?
Women in remote hilly areas have no access to sanitary pads during lockdown. Why are they not considered essential?