The recent increase in reports of women experiencing menstrual changes following vaccination against coronavirus is now being backed up by a new study. The research conducted across Europe found that almost four out ten patients reported disturbances to their periods just before receiving the shot
A report from last year also suggested there were 30 thousand cases coming into contact with British health professionals reporting some form or another variation on what’s usually considered “the most common side effect ever seen” -menstrual irregularity .
The women interviewed reported heavier periods. According to the study published by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, out of the 6,000 women interviewed, 37.8 per cent of them had at least one menstrual disorder before a coronavirus shot.
This ,however, rose to 39.4 per cent after one dose, and 40.9 per cent after two.
“Menstrual changes are common and even before vaccination, almost four out of 10 young women reported that they had experienced such changes. However, in this study we see that more women experienced changes after the first or second vaccine dose,” said Dr Lill Trogstad, project leader at the Norwegian Institute. The women aged between 18 and 30 had some of the same side-effects. For example, before having a vaccine, 7.6 per cent of women reported a heavier period than usual compared to 13.6 per cent after their first dose. These figures stood at 8.2 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively after a second shot.
Other changes were also reported, including a shorter interval between periods and longer duration of bleeding. While menstrual pain, intermittent bleeding and a prolonged cycle did not increase after the first Covid vaccine, there was a slight jump in reports after a second shot. The study shows that reported changes to the menstrual cycle after vaccination are short-lived. However, robust research into this possible adverse reaction remains critical to the overall success of the vaccination programme. There has been vaccine hesitancy among young women, which is largely driven by false claims that Covid vaccines could harm their chances of future pregnancy.
The Covid-19 virus is causing a lot of problems for pregnant women and their babies in the country. Doctors have raised concerns about increased risks during pregnancy.
Experts are now saying that it could be time to consider vaccinating pregnant women because the benefits seem to outweigh the risks. Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (KOGS) Council member and chairman of Central Branch Simon Kigondu said pregnant women are now increasingly admitted with severe Covid-19, with many in the intensive care unit. The gynaecologist at Murang’a Level Five Hospital said some have experienced miscarriages and KOGS is now recommending pregnant women to get the vaccine because the benefits outweigh the risks.
“The women are at an increased risk for preterm birth and we are seeing a trend towards increased bad outcomes for them. This is because the immune system is far from inactive in pregnancy, and the really significant immune response to the infection has the potential to cause complications,” he said.
Hospitals are increasingly raising alarm over the issue of pregnant women in intensive care, stating that the number of expectant mothers in ICU has risen steadily in recent months.
Dr Kigondu said although currently only the attending doctor waives the risks of the Covid-19 vaccine and the potential effects on the pregnancy, bad pregnancy outcomes in patients with Covid-19 may force the gynaecologist to recommend vaccination for pregnant women as is the case of countries like Israel.
“Pregnant women are at greater risk of serious illness if they get Covid-19 and now we are seeing that giving the vaccine could be the best way for a mother’s and baby’s safety,” he said.
He said t KOGS is now referring to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) recommendations on Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The professional organisation that brings together obstetrical and gynecological associations from across 132 countries says that pregnant women are at increased risk of severe Covid-19 associated illness compared with non-pregnant women requiring hospitalisation, intensive care unit admission, and mechanical ventilation.
This, they state as a good enough reason to prevent critical Covid-19 infection for both the mother and her foetus.
FIGO considers that there are no risks – actual or theoretical – that would outweigh the potential benefits of vaccination for pregnant women and supports offering Covid-19 vaccination to pregnant and breastfeeding women.