If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the recent past, there are chances that its after-effects are still visible in your body. One of these lingering health problems post-COVID can manifest itself in the form of menstrual abnormalities. Throughout the pandemic, many women who contracted the virus have complained about experiencing a change in their menstrual cycle either in terms of frequency, duration, or volume.
The Channel 46 has collaborated with Dr Nagaveni. R, Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, to shed light on post-COVID menstrual symptoms and factors that might be the cause of these predominant symptoms. The doctor also discusses when COVID vaccine can be responsible for menstrual irregularities.
Menstrual Symptoms During COVID-19 Recovery
While some women have reported not getting their periods for a couple of months altogether during post COVID-19 recovery, others have reported feeling extreme pelvic pain while on their period or at any other body part during their cycle. Women have also complained of experiencing heavier flow than usual, also compelling them to take medicine to stop the bleeding. Still some others have complained of extremely scanty flow. Women have also complained about prolonged and severe pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms, despite their periods remaining elusive post recovery from the virus.
2 Observations Among The Menstruation Population During COVID Recovery
Scientists and medical practitioners across the globe are tirelessly attempting to study and understand the virus, its origin, and its after-effects on the human body. And till date, there is no concrete research to suggest the impact of COVID-19 on a female reproductive system. Initial studies undertaken by several health organisations in the world opine that women are at a higher risk of long COVID complications.
- Surveys indicate that women who have pre-existing gynaecological problems such as endometriosis or PCOS/PCOD are more prone to experiencing menstrual cycle disruptions or abnormalities as compared to women who had no such condition before getting infected by the virus.
- Women have also complained about experiencing a change in their sexual behaviour post COVID infection.
2 Possible Reasons Behind Menstrual Irregularities Post-COVID
While the exact reason why women are experiencing menstrual irregularities post Covid is still being investigated upon and no concrete research about the same has been published yet, there are certain plausible reasons for the same as of now:
COVID-19 by itself is capable enough to put your body through a lot of stress. Stress is proven to increase cortisol levels in your body, which is known to cause disruptions to your menstrual cycle. As a result of which, the oestrogen and progesterone production in the body is hampered, causing your periods to become irregular.
It is no secret that the medicines administered for the treatment of the virus take a toll on your body because of very strong dosages. In extreme cases, a patient would have also had to take steroids to recover from the disease. These strong medicines are linked to causing temporary changes in your menstrual cycle.
These above-stated reasons are simply suggestive and generic in nature. There is a lack of medical literature to diagnose the exact reason for post-covid menstrual irregularities. Gynaecologists also believe that your periods should return to normal a few months after you have completely recovered from COVID-19 and these changes are just temporary in nature.
Does COVID-19 Vaccine Also Cause Menstrual Irregularities?
While women have complained of certain alterations in their menstrual cycle post taking the Covid-19 vaccine, including feeling pain in the abdomen even when not on their periods, there is a lack of medical evidence proving a link between the vaccine shot and menstrual irregularities. This phenomenon has caused many women to become sceptical about getting the vaccine, especially if they have experienced certain alterations with regards to their cycle after their first dose. It is advised to refrain from doing so and get all the required doses of the vaccine as what may have happened once, may not happen again as your body too gets immune to the same.
It is to be noted that these changes are not permanent at all, as women have also stated that their cycle has returned to normal a couple of months after taking the jab.
In case you have been experiencing certain menstrual abnormalities post Covid-19 recovery or after getting immunised against the same, it is advised to refrain from self-medicating the problem. It is best to get in touch with your gynaecologist as early as possible who can suggest remedies for the problems faced by you. Menstrual irregularities can cause a lot of stress that could aggravate your problem. Hence, it is recommended to consult your gynaecologist who can make you feel relaxed about the same and treat your problem at the earliest.
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