Victoria Male, a reproduction specialist at Imperial College London, signs an article published in BJM magazine in which she states that the link between menstrual changes experienced by some women after vaccination is plausible and should be investigated.
Changes in menstruation or unexpected vaginal bleeding are not yet recognized as a possible effect of the COVID vaccine, but many women have reported these changes. In the case of the UK, as of 2 September , more than 30,000 such reports had been sent to the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency ( MHRA) surveillance service.
In any case, most women experience transient changes that return to normal in the next cycle and, more importantly, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine adversely affects fertility.
The MHRA states that its surveillance data does not support a link between changes in menstrual periods and vaccinations, as the number of reports is low relative to both the number of people vaccinated and the prevalence of menstrual disorders in general. . However, the researcher believes that the way in which the data is collected makes it difficult to draw conclusions, since in the end many people do not report the changes experienced or do not associate them with vaccination.
Possible relationship with immune response
There have been reports of menstrual changes after vaccination with both mRNA and adenovirus-vectorized vaccines, he adds, suggesting that if there is a connection, this is likely the result of the immune response to vaccination. rather than a specific vaccine component.
In fact, the menstrual cycle can be affected by the body’s immune response to the virus itself, and one study showed menstrual disturbances in about a quarter of women infected with SARS-CoV-2, so the relationship is plausible.
If this link is confirmed, women who are vaccinated can foresee the effect and, in case of suffering alterations in the menstrual cycle , know that it is a temporary annoyance that should not cause concern.
The expert recommends that doctors encourage their patients to report any changes in periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding. And anyone who reports a change in periods that persists for multiple cycles, or new vaginal bleeding after menopause, should be treated according to the usual clinical guidelines for these conditions.
In Spain, a team of researchers from the University of Granada has already launched a scientific study to assess whether vaccination is associated with these menstrual disorders.
Referencia: Male, 2021. Menstrual changes after covid-19 vaccination BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2211 (Published 16 September 2021).