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Covid Vaccines and Menstrual Cycles: What Studies Show So Far

Since the covid vaccine rollout, there has been a considerable amount of discussion on the possibility of side effects.

Female readers in particular may have taken note of a slew of anecdotal evidence online from women who say their monthly cycles were negatively affected after receiving the injection/s.

As a somewhat significant period of time has elapsed since the initial vaccine rollout, studies have become available which help shed light on whether there is legitimacy to what many have been discussing.

Science.org reported that thousands of women came together online adding up to a veritable storm of discussion on the subject.

However, the raw numbers do not indicate how serious the effects were in each woman, and whether the symptoms persisted in all cases.

One such woman, Katheryn Clancy, a biological anthropologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign spoke of her experience of unusually ‘heavy bleeding’ just 10 days after receiving her first covid vaccine.

After sharing her experience online, she and her graduate student Katharine Lee, decided to compile a small survey expecting to gather around 500 responses.

As a result more than “165,000 people around the world” responded claiming to have been similarly affected. However the subsequent study drew some criticism as it was seen not to have included analysis of a control group as admittedly all participants were “fully vaccinated”.

The study was undertaken somewhat prior to the rollout of ‘booster shots’.

The study, which uses gender neutral language throughout, focused on  “35,660 individuals who received a two-dose SARS-CoV-2 vaccination for statistical analyses of menstrual changes and vaccine experiences”.

According to the data compiled, 42% of participants who had previously regular cycles experienced heavier bleeding after receiving the vaccines. 44% say they noticed no such change, and 14% recorded lighter bleeding.

A study published in the British Medical Journal (BJM) found that:

More than 36 000 reports of menstrual changes or unexpected vaginal bleeding following covid-19 vaccination have so far been made to the yellow card surveillance scheme run by the UK Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).”

The study acknowledges that “changes to the menstrual cycle do occur following vaccination,” however it claims that, “they are small compared with natural variation and quickly reverse”.

A study from Norway found that “the prevalence of any menstrual disturbance was 37.8% prior to vaccination.”

It continues, “ The relative risk of more heavy bleeding than usual during the exposed compared to unexposed period for first dose vaccination was 1.90 (95% CI: 1.69-2.13), while it was 1.84 (1.66-2.03) for the second dose.”

The study headed by Lill Trogstad for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that “The risk of heavy bleeding after the second dose, given that it had occurred after the first, was 65.7%.”

The researchers also observed  “increased risks after vaccination also for other menstrual disturbances.”

The raw numbers do not indicate how serious the effects were in each woman, and whether the symptoms persisted in all cases”.

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