- An expert calls for an examination of the link between Covid-19 vaccines and menstruation.
- This would help eradicate vaccine hesitancy in women who want to reproduce.
- It is also a caveat that menstruation should not be an afterthought in future research.
A reproductive immunology expert recommends that the link between menstruation and Covid-19 vaccines be investigated.
An editorial published in The BMJ notes that menstrual changes have been reported after Covid-19 vaccination. According to the author, there is a plausible link between periods and Covid-19 vaccines.
The possible link
The article states that there have been reports of menstrual changes after both mRNA and adenovirus-vectored Covid-19 vaccines. This suggests that, if there is a connection, it is likely the result of an immune response to vaccination rather than a specific vaccine component.
This immune response is not exclusive to Covid-19 vaccines. The researcher cites a study that found that menstruating women experienced menstrual disruption when infected with the virus.
“Indeed, the menstrual cycle can be affected by immune activation in response to various stimuli, including viral infection,” the author writes.
The article notes that reported changes to the menstrual cycle after vaccination are short-lived.
Importance of menstruation and vaccine research
According to the author, research investigating the link between periods and Covid-19 vaccines may help eradicate vaccine hesitancy, mainly driven by false claims that Covid-19 vaccines can harm women's chances of future pregnancy.
“Failing to thoroughly investigate reports of menstrual changes after vaccination is likely to fuel these fears. If a link between vaccination and menstrual changes is confirmed, this information will allow people to plan for potentially altered cycles,” the author writes.
The article further states that it is important to establish if Covid-19 vaccines can be linked to menstruation – for people who rely on being able to predict their menstrual cycles to either achieve or avoid pregnancy.
A key lesson is, therefore, that the effects of medical interventions on menstruation should not be an afterthought in any future research.