#FakeNewsAlert: Gynaecologist opines on how getting Covid 19 vaccine is safe during menstruation

Once we got the news of getting the COVID-19 vaccination, there were a plethora of fake news on the internet. And one of the most impactful ones was about the side effects of vaccination during or before periods. But Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar talks about why it’s fake news and how getting the vaccine is safe for women during menstruation.
COVID vaccination and periods #FakeNewsAlert: Gynaecologist opines on how getting Covid 19 vaccine is safe during menstruation
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Since we have got the news about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone above 18, there are several fake news circulating in social media. And one of the most important ones among all of them is that women before and after five days of period cannot be vaccinated. This news got circulated everywhere and people almost believed it as well. But it’s completely FAKE news. Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Bangalore talks about why and how it’s absolutely safe in getting the COVID-19 vaccination during, before, and after menstruation.

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is a mild form of a disease itself that is injected into a person or an animal’s blood using a needle /an injection, to protect the body against that disease by pre-preparing it to the virus by creating antibodies to fight it.

Vaccination impact on women’s health

When the COVID-19 vaccine was initially being tested, the researchers mainly observed the patients for any serious complications related to fever or an allergic reaction due to the vaccine. None of the trials for the vaccine took into consideration the change in menstruation cycles and most clinics don’t consider this aspect as well. 

Originally there is no evidence proving that the vaccine affects menstruation cycles but there can be some connection between the two. Some specialists have spoken about this issue concerning the irregularity in periods that women might face after receiving the vaccine. It includes the possibility of them having periods that are heavier than usual, periods arriving early, and a chance of them being absent as well. They say it’s absolutely okay to be concerned about your cycle being disrupted. But not the vaccination particularly, there are several other factors that can actually affect your menstrual cycle. Simple things like- diet, lack of exercise, or just the thought of taking the vaccine in itself could be a stressful task that might affect the cycle.

Things to know about Covid-19 vaccination

As mentioned earlier that a vaccine is a controlled form of the virus itself, that may lead to an inflammatory reaction like mild flu. This inflammation can potentially modify the estrogen response, which could cause certain women to have an altered cycle, but it does not show to have any harmful effects on women. Some other responses may be a sore arm, a low-grade fever, tiredness, etc. from which people return to normal health within a few days. Just as the sore arm or the fever is not permanent, so is the change in the altered menstrual cycle. It is not permanent damage and should not be viewed as harmful. It’s just the body’s immunity responding to the injected virus.

A vaccine is meant to impact and induce an immune response and this immune response can influence the menstrual cycle, which is primarily under the control of a complex interplay of hormones released by the brain. The first half of the menstrual cycle is influenced by estrogen (the female hormone) due to which the endometrial lining starts to build up around the uterus and the follicles. However, in the second half of the cycle, if pregnancy doesn’t occur, another sex hormone progesterone falls, leading to the shedding of the lining of the uterus, or menstruation.

Some anecdotal reports of menstrual irregularities should not impact your decision to take the vaccine. After all, getting infected by Covid-19 can bring far worse and irreparable damages to the body.

Word of advice

While the vaccination drive is new, there will be a lot more queries around the side effects of vaccination, hence it is always better to consult with a gynecologist or any doctor to be more aware.

There is no evidence that all women will have menstrual irregularities. Only a few women have reported such a condition. Reasons can be stress due to covid, fatigue or lifestyle changes due to sedentary lifestyle and home isolation.

Also Read: Covid 19 crisis: What is double masking and how can you use it to protect yourself from the second wave?