A significant number of people may experience period changes in the first two weeks after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, a new analysis of reports from more than 35,000 people suggests.
The research, published last week in the journal Scientists progressoffers a comprehensive assessment of menstrual changes experienced by pre- and post-menopausal people after Covid vaccination.
“Physicians who weighed in on the topic after hearing early reports of menstrual changes after vaccination often ignored patients’ concerns,” said study co-author Kathryn Clancy, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. said in a statement.
Researchers believe these side effects may be linked to an increase in inflammatory pathways related to the immune system after vaccination and are less likely to be driven by hormonal changes.
They said that such changes in menstruation are also sometimes observed after vaccination against typhoid, hepatitis B and HPV.
“Menstruating and formerly menstruating people began sharing that they experienced unexpected bleeding after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine in early 2021,” noted scientists, including those at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Because vaccine trials don’t typically ask about menstrual cycles or bleeding, this side effect has been largely ignored or dismissed,” they said.
Scientists suspect these changes associated with the Covid vaccination are short term for most people and have urged those concerned to contact their doctor for further care.
“We want to reiterate that getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to avoid getting very sick with Covid, and we know that having Covid itself can lead to not only rule changes but also a hospitalization, long Covid and death,” she said. Katharine Lee, another study author from Tulane University in the United States.
In the study, scientists analyzed data from a survey to ask people about their experiences following the vaccination launched in April 2021.
While participants were interviewed for demographic and other information, the study focused on respondents’ reproductive histories and their experiences with menstrual bleeding.
In the analysis, only those who had not been diagnosed with Covid were included since Covid itself is sometimes associated with menstrual changes.
The researchers also excluded data from people aged 45 to 55 from the analysis to avoid confusing the results by including menstrual changes associated with perimenopause.
Around 42% of menstrual survey respondents reported heavier menstrual flow after receiving the Covid vaccine.
While some experienced it within the first seven days, the scientists said many other respondents reported changes 8 to 14 days after vaccination.
About 44% reported no alteration in their menstrual flow after the vaccine, and a smaller percentage, 14%, saw a mixture of no change or lighter flow, the study notes.
Citing one of the limitations of the study, the scientists said the analysis was based on self-reported experiences recorded more than 14 days after vaccination, adding that it could not establish causation or be considered predictive of people. in the general population.
However, they said it may point to likely associations between a person’s reproductive history, hormonal status, demographics and changes in menstruation following Covid vaccination.
Citing an example from the analysis, the researchers said respondents who had experienced pregnancy were the most likely to report heavier bleeding after vaccination, with a slight increase among those who had not given birth.
They said a majority of nonmenstruating premenopausal respondents on hormone therapy experienced breakthrough bleeding after receiving the vaccine.
People who had suffered from endometriosis, menorrhagia, fibroids or other reproductive problems were also more likely to report heavier menstrual flow after vaccination, the scientists said.
“We would like to see future vaccine testing protocols incorporate questions about menstruation that go beyond screening for pregnancy,” Dr. Lee said.
“Menstruation is a regular process that responds to all sorts of immune and energy stressors, and people notice changes in their bleeding patterns, but we don’t tend to talk about it publicly,” she said. added.
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