NIH to study links between Covid-19 vaccine and irregular menstruation

September 14, 2021 0 By Faizy Abdulkalam

The National Institutes of Health, US, will be supporting an extensive study to examine any possible connections between vaccination and irregular menstruation as well as other effects of the jab on women’s periods. The yearlong study would involve researchers from five institutions such as Boston University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University and Oregon Health and Science University. 

Earlier this year, as Covid-19 vaccines became more widely available, some women and girls had gone on social media to describe changes in their menstrual cycles after receiving the shots, including irregular cycles, painful periods and heavy bleeding.

Since the evidence around abnormal periods is so far purely anecdotal, the new research reportedly aims to allay concerns that might prevent women from getting their shots.

Public health experts have reiterated that there is no known link between vaccination and changes in menstruation, and that vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to end the pandemic.

But the stories underpin a persistent data gap about reproductive health and women’s menstrual cycles that is not collected during clinical trials, including during trials of the Covid vaccines. There have also been no scientific studies published examining a potential relationship between the two.

Hugh Taylor, chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine said that it is an important and overlooked issue.

“A lot of people have irregular menstruation for all sorts of reasons, so is this really different in people with the vaccine, or is it just that when people have it, they are linking it to the vaccine?”

The researchers said that participants of all ages and backgrounds who have not yet been vaccinated, including those who plan to get the shots and those who do not, will be studied, in order to study their menstrual cycles before and afterward.