- Study finds 54% of women experienced irregular periods in pandemic
- Women with high epidemiological stress were more likely to see changes in periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding and longer periods were reported by women
A study suggests that millions of women may experience disruptions in their periods due to stress related to COVID.
In a US survey of 210 women, 54 percent experienced a change in their menstrual cycle between July and August 2020.
Of the women who reported changes, half experienced longer periods and more than a third complained of more bleeding than usual. Half of the women also reported a change in PMS symptoms.
A new US study finds that women who have experienced high levels of pandemic stress are more likely to experience menstrual problems for longer than regular cycles.
Is my period abnormal?
Research from Public Health England showed that nearly half of women – 48 percent – say they struggle with menstrual issues, such as heavy or irregular periods. So when should you be worried about your period?
period pain It is common and most women experience it at some point in their lives.
The pain is usually felt as abdominal cramps and is caused by the tightening of the muscle wall of the womb and temporarily cutting off oxygen.
See your doctor if the pain is severe or is suddenly different than usual for you, as it could be a sign of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
irregular periods Occurs when the length of your menstrual cycle changes.
They may be normal or can be easily explained by hormones, but you should see a doctor if they suddenly become irregular, if they are too close together or too far apart (less than 21 days or more than 35 days). ), or if menstruation lasts longer than one week.
heavy periodsSwelling, in which a lot of bleeding occurs, are common but can seriously affect a woman’s life.
Heavy bleeding is defined as a loss of 80 ml (16 teaspoons) or more in each period, with menstruation lasting more than 7 days, or both.
Heavy periods aren’t necessarily a sign of an underlying problem, but if you notice an unusual amount of blood, or it’s affecting your daily life, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor.
Source: NHS Choices
Women on average reported higher levels of stress during the COVID pandemic than before.
Experts from Northwestern University who conducted the study warned that pandemic strains are likely to blame.
Study author Professor Nicole Voitovich said: ‘We know that excess stress can negatively affect our overall health and well-being.’
But he added, ‘stress can also disrupt normal menstrual cycle patterns and overall reproductive health’.
Thousands of women have also complained of interrupted cycles after vaccination, although none of the women surveyed would have received a Covid jab at the time of the survey.
Professor Voitovich said findings on stress, published in Journal of Women’s Health, confirmed several anecdotal reports from women of menstrual disruption during the pandemic.
“Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and its significant impact on mental health, this data is surprising and confirms the many anecdotal reports in the popular press and on social media,” she said.
He said that the fact that women were now facing menstrual irregularities due to COVID infection, as well as vaccination against the virus, the impact of the pandemic on reproductive health should not be overlooked.
“We are already seeing what happens when we fail to consider this important aspect of women’s health,” Professor Voitovich said.
‘Many are now experiencing irregularities of the menstrual cycle as a result of the Covid vaccine or infection.’
The UK government’s Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency, which monitors vaccine side effects, has reported 35,707 period problems in women after receiving the vaccine.
But experts fear this figure is only the tip of the iceberg because women who have experienced the changes have not reported it.
However, the reports do not prove that the vaccine was to blame.
Reported period issues after receiving the COVID vaccine include heavy bleeding, missing periods, and periods earlier or later than usual.
Some postmenopausal women have also said that they experienced vaginal bleeding after the vaccination.
The UK medical regulator has refused to accept or deny the connection to disrupted cycles, and says most menstrual problems appear to be ‘transient’ in nature.
But period issues have previously been linked to other vaccines, such as the HPV jab.
However, there is no evidence that COVID vaccines affect fertility, insist top doctors.
The women in the study were asked to report their stress levels during and before the COVID pandemic. This was done through an online questionnaire which was then scored on a perceived stress level score (PSS). Graph A shows that women on average reported higher levels of stress during the pandemic. Graph B shows the number of respondents who received each value on the PSS survey, the COVID pandemic was associated with higher stress scores