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Published in: JOURNAL, Periods

Will the Covid-19 Booster Affect My Menstrual Cycle?

Have you wondered whether the Covid-19 booster can affect your menstrual cycle?

We’ve received a few questions about this. So we asked doctors and other professionals in our network to weigh-in with their perspectives.

Our key takeaways:

  • More research needs to be done to isolate the effects of the vaccine vs. other factors that are likely impacting women’s cycles concurrent with the vaccine (stress, covid infection, sleep, etc.)

  • Although there is evidence of heavier bleeding or breakthrough bleeding with the vaccine (42% of study participants), it appears to typically only last for a couple cycles.

  • Because the science is inconclusive, women need to evaluate their own personal risks/benefits. Is cycle regularity more beneficial at this point in their lives or protection from severe COVID?

Read below for responses from the health professionals we reached out to:

According to the study Investigating trends in those who experience menstrual bleeding changes after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, the change in menstrual cycles that they studied was heavier bleeding than normal and breakthrough bleeding with people who use gender affirming hormones, long acting reversible birth control, or were post menopause. One of the most significant findings from the study was that "people using hormonal contraceptives were more likely to experience heavier bleeding after vaccination".

It's important to note that this study can't be generalized to the public, and does not mean that this is causal. It does provide insight to the experiences of the participants and calls for prospective research on this topic.

Heavier bleeding and breakthrough bleeding can, not just be inconvenient, but need serious attention especially if you do not have the right supplies for heavy bleeding and were not expecting it. "Generally, changes to menstrual bleeding are not uncommon or dangerous, yet attention to these experiences is necessary to build trust in medicine"– from the article.

What we know now is that while more research is necessary, the vaccine is considered safe for people who menstruate. I have had both shots and the booster and plan to get another booster.

— Carolyn Handke, MPH, founder of Period Wellness

There have been multiple studies done on various groups to study long term effects of the same on periods but we haven't got the 100% correct results. There are different schools of thoughts as the receptors of covid have found over lungs and ovaries, so that might knock off your periods for a cycle or two.

However, looking at the pandemic and the aftereffects there is a room of thought that we calculate the risk benefit ratio and outweigh the benefits rather than looking at the short term effects. Along with the covid booster jab, various factors like lifestyle, stressors, nutrition and covid infection can also have an effect on a person’s period cycle.

– Dr. Mitali Rathod, OB-GYN, @itsdrmitali

There was a study published and confirmed that the SARS-COV-2 vaccine did in fact affect menstrual flow. Of the almost 36,000 women who received 2 doses of the SARS-COV-2 vaccine, 42% of these women who previously reported a normal menstrual cycle experienced a heavier flow which in my opinion is a significant amount especially if these women have never experienced heavier bleeding.

– Dr. Erin Ellis, founder of Hope Natural Health

There are SO many things that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle each month, from nutrition, exercise, stress, illness, etc. There isn’t enough research out there conclusively saying any of the COVID vaccines are messing with cycles. We just don’t know enough about the vaccines yet.

– Cynthia Donovan, MS RDN CDN, Period Nutritionist

artwork: poppy jackson
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