Menstruation usually makes us think about the reproductive cycle of women, but its influence is much broader; it is even connected to the immune system. In part, this is why many women have experienced period disturbances after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this year.
But why? At what point are vaccines, the immune system, and menstruation connected? As we indicated in a previous note, there is not much documentation on this yet, but it is not really something really new or surprising. Doctors explain why.
Menstruation and the immune system are connected
Although we are little aware of it, there is a link between the uterus and the immune system. First, because the latter is distributed throughout the body, including the lining of the uterus, to offer timely protection against irregularities.
The lining of the uterus has immune cells and hormonal changes, which can cause emotional stress, physical stress, and chemical stress, can also alter them.
However, obstetrician-gynecologist George Fyffe provided a more comprehensive explanation to Cleveland Clinics recently. As ovulation approaches, the immune system of the female body ramps up to avoid any interference; let us remember that we are “designed” and “endowed” with mechanisms that support our survival.
Under this dynamic, protection is increased to prevent any infectious agent from interfering with possible fertilization and implantation of the ovum. If this task is fulfilled, the next step for the immune system is to become more flexible to accept and promote pregnancy.
“The hypothalamus in the brain is the hormonal control center that works in conjunction with the anterior pituitary gland. Together, messages in the form of hormones are sent to the ovaries and uterus to increase or decrease hormone levels to facilitate ovulation, pregnancy, and the return of the menstrual cycle if fertilization does not occur. Emotional stress, physical stress and chemical stress can affect the hormonal control center, which can cause changes in the menstrual cycle ”.
The reason why vaccines can alter menstruation
One of the reasons why vaccines could be altering menstruation by its effect of stimulating the immune system. Each body is different, but in general, this response could be the cause of the different irregularities reported by women in the networks.
Physical, chemical and psychological stress could also be playing a role. Tension over the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, fears stemming from misinformation, other underlying health issues, and even medication intake could be sharing the limelight in the phenomenon.
“Women who take medications for seizure disorders, diabetes, thyroid conditions, hypertension, depression, or other conditions may notice irregularities in their menstrual cycles,” explains Dr. Fyffe. “These drugs can interfere with the hormones responsible for menstruation. Some can even cause loss of menstruation ”.
Are there women at higher risk of experiencing menstrual abnormalities after being vaccinated?
The link between the immune system and menstruation is complex, but we’ve managed to simplify it to understand it. But what has been said so far leads us to another important question: can all women experience menstrual irregularities or are some more prone than others?
Giving an answer without scientific evidence would be irresponsible, but experts are always there to clarify the picture. Dr. Kathryn Clancy, who has been very active on social media on this topic, shared her estimates as well.
“There is a small possibility that bodies that have more endometrial practice, like bodies that have had many more menstrual cycles, basically older people, people who have been pregnant, the same people who have given birth,” she said. , are more likely to experience disturbances.
“There is a possibility that those bodies are a little more likely to have heavier periods after a vaccine, simply because the vasculature of the uterus is going to be much more established in them.”
There is no reason to worry as of yet
Despite this, experts believe that there is nothing to worry about so far. So far, changes in menstruation due to vaccinations resolve quickly, as do other period-altering factors.
Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Kathleen Jordan says that “Vaccine studies have shown that most of these changes occur within the first few days after vaccination and resolve quickly.”
Therefore, the alterations in the menstrual cycle after the COVID-19 vaccine do not seem to be something from another world, since we already know that this is related to the immune system. The important thing is to verify both its intensity and duration. As the doctors say, they shouldn’t take long to resolve; however, if this is not the case, it is best to seek the opinion of an expert.
Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Throw Your Period Off? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/will-a-covid-19-vaccine-throw-your-period-off/
Can COVID-19 vaccines affect periods? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/can-covid-19-vaccines-affect-periods#How-long-do-these-changes-last?