Women have been reporting changes in their menstrual cycles after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what health experts are saying.
There are many predictable reactions that can occur when you get your COVID-19 shot, like fever, chills and more. Other side effects, like impacted menstrual cycles, are being reported, prompting many questions.
Among the reports that are being released, women have explained heavier periods than usual and significant period delays after getting their COVID-19 vaccine. Does the vaccine really impact peoples periods or are these just coincidences?
There’s not a lot of research out there on the COVID-19 vaccine having an impact on menstrual cycles, but dozens of women have submitted reports of heavier and altered cycles on the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. This surveillance program is one where anyone can report their side effects after getting the shot, so, as of this writing, the evidence is considered anecdotal.
Doctors have different theories as to why this might be happening, but none of them are very strong. When it comes to experiencing more pain during menstrual cycles, one theory is that vaccine pains can compounds period pains, resulting in an experience that is overall more uncomfortable and difficult to manage.
Stress is another factor that could have a hand. “Menstrual cycles can be altered or influenced by many factors, including stress, poor sleep, exercise, and some medications. It wouldn’t be that unusual for some women to notice, after receiving the vaccination, changes in their period, such as it coming on earlier, or having a heavier flow, or noticing more cramping than they usually have,” Dr. Gloria A. Bachmann told Health magazine.
For the time being, there’s no way of knowing if the vaccine could have a direct influence on your period. During vaccine trials, heavy bleeding or irregular cycles weren’t reported as any of the side effects. Still, it’s assumed that if there are changes with your cycle, they are temporary and should return to normal within the coming month. It’s important to visit a doctor if they persist.
Despite the fears and stories, experts are adamant about the importance of getting the COVID-19 shot. Whether you have your period or are put off by the potential side effects, it’s important to make your appointment to get your shot as soon as you’re able.