COVID-19 pandemic stress has disrupted menstrual cycles

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The study found that individuals who experienced high levels of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to experience heavy menstrual bleeding and longer periods of their periods than individuals with moderate stress levels.

New Delhi: The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted women’s menstrual cycles, a new study has shown, due to the increase in stress associated with coronavirus infection waves.

The study found that individuals who experienced high levels of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to experience heavy menstrual bleeding and longer periods of their periods than individuals with moderate stress levels.

More than half (54%) of the individuals included in the study experienced a change in their menstrual cycle after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Although the study has been conducted in the US, the findings are quite relevant. The study findings were published in the ‘Journal of Women’s Health’ and is the first US study to evaluate the impact of COVID19-related stress on women’s periods.

Earlier research has found that menstrual cycle irregularities are often reported by women who experience mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, or who have faced acute life stressors such as natural disasters, displacement, famine or defection. have been.

“Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and its significant impact on mental health, this data is surprising and confirms several anecdotal reports in the popular press and on social media,” said lead and corresponding author Nicole Voitovich, research assistant professor of medical social sciences. he said. at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study surveyed more than 200 women and men in the United States who menstruated between July and August, 2020, to develop a better understanding of how stress during the COVID-19 pandemic affects their menstrual cycles. affects how.

“We know that excess stress can negatively affect our overall health and well-being, but for women and menstruating people, stress can also disrupt normal menstrual cycle patterns and overall reproductive health,” says Voitovich. he said.

Since the start of the pandemic, social media has been one of the major platforms where women and menstruating people can share questions or concerns about their menstrual cycles. Only recently have these concerns been addressed by the biomedical research community.

“Reproductive health should not be ignored in the context of COVID-19,” Voitovich said.

“We are already seeing what happens when we fail to consider this important aspect of women’s health as many are now experiencing menstrual cycle irregularities as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection. have been,” Voitovich concluded.

First published:2 October 2021, 2 pm

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