The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is in full swing in the UK, with anyone over the age of 18 now being called forward to book in for their free jab.
And, although each of us have reacted differently to the jab, it has become more and more apparent that many women are experiencing changes to their periods for the first month or so after receiving the injection.
From more painful periods to a slightly off-kilter menstrual cycle and a heavier flow, there are a number of different effects that people have noticed, and more and more have turned to social media to ask: what is going on and should we be worried?
Many felt anger at the fact that women are not made aware of short-term menstrual changes after the vaccine:
While others reported an increase in painful cramps:
However, some felt that the possible impact from the vaccine was actually positive, claiming that it helped to regulate their periods:
As the vaccine is so new, the research in this area is limited, however, we spoke to Dr Ashfaq Khan, consultant gynaecologist & obstetrician at Harley Street Gynaecology, to find out what information is available right now.
'It has been estimated that up to 25 percent of women could experience some disregulation in their period following their Covid vaccine, although research is still in its early stages,' Dr.Khan explains.
Below, he answers some of the most-asked questions on the COVID-19 vaccine and its link to changes in a woman's menstrual cycle.
It is worth noting though, that despite new information on the short-term impact the vaccine might have on a woman's period, medical professionals are still urging women of all ages to come forward for their vaccine when they are called, explaining that the benefits of being protected against COVID-19 far outweigh any risks.
Why does the vaccine impact my period?
'Current medical thinking is that the antibodies produced by the body in response to the vaccination impact upon its natural menstruation pattern, although variations in oestrogen levels and inflammation may also be a factor.'
Does this mean it can impact my fertility?
'[Some women] have reported a change in either or both the timing or the flow, although there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the vaccine has any impact whatsoever on fertility.'
What sort of menstrual side effects have people experienced?
There have been a range of vaccine side effects linked to periods. They include:
A late period onset
An earlier period than usual
More painful periods
Longer period time
Are changes to my menstrual cycle permanent?
'It is clear that, in most instances, any changes to the usual menstrual pattern are temporary, so if the changes continue over two or more cycles, it is worth having this checked out with a GP or gynaecologist, to rule out any other potential issues.'
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