If you’re a woman who’s recently received the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, you might have experienced a shorter, heavier, lighter, or even absent period following your vaccination. Why are women experiencing abnormal menstrual cycles after getting vaccinated?
There are two camps currently staking their ground on this issue: The women who are experiencing these abnormalities and noticing these changes firsthand are understandably concerned there could be a direct correlation between their period and the vaccine. Meanwhile, medical professionals and vaccine proponents are attempting to quell the possible further distrust of the vaccine that these abnormalities are creating.
Women Are Experiencing Abnormal Menstrual Cycles
On February 24, Dr. Kate Clancy, a professor at the University of Illinois, asked her over 21,000 Twitter followers if any of them had experienced heavy periods or other noticeable changes “post vax.”
As responses began to roll in, mostly from women saying that both the timing and the duration of their periods had changed after receiving the vaccine, Dr. Clancy went on to hypothesize that the body’s response to the vaccine implied it was “mounting a broader inflammatory response,” resulting in the increased bleeding she was experiencing. Dr. Clancy actually went on to implement a scientific study exploring the possible correlation between the two.
Women are experiencing shorter, heavier, lighter, or even absent periods following vaccination.
One Twitter user said that after receiving the Pfizer jab, her period was much lighter than normal and five days late. Others spoke of much heavier bleeding, or periods arriving late or completely out of the blue. Lydia Wang, who covered the phenomenon for Refinery29, also cited a Reddit page that was created just to document the menstrual changes vaccinated women were undergoing. One Reddit user, who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, wrote that she was uncharacteristically late. Another, who received Moderna, said that hers came two weeks late and was the “heaviest, most painful period I’ve ever had.” Many others responded under her comment to report the same symptoms with Pfizer.
While the medical community continues to quietly gather the growing number of side effects people are feeling post-vaccination, changes and abnormalities in menstruation, which are no less important than the run-of-the-mill fatigue and headache, seems to be noticeably absent from the mainstream public conversation on vaccination side effects. Why?
Doctors Say the Vaccine and Period Problems Are Unrelated
At the onset of this new discussion of a possible side effect — which could potentially impact countless women — doctors and medical professionals were only too quick to reject the theory that the vaccine could be causing these abnormalities.
Numerous headlines out there read that “doctors say no” to the possibility that the two could be connected. Most medical professionals are attributing any and all period changes, whether lighter, heavier, shorter, or longer than normal, to the normal stress response that our bodies undergo when a big or crucial event (like vaccination) takes place. Our body diverts all of its attention and energy to dealing with the stress-inducing situation at hand, causing abnormalities in our period.
It’s neither prudent nor scientific to dismiss a potential side effect without thorough investigation.
While being sick does affect our body’s hormone response, there’s obviously much more to this issue than meets the eye. Meanwhile, as more and more women are experiencing periods that are concerning or out of the ordinary, scientists and medical professionals are trying — and failing — to calm any anxiety.
Lydia Wang writes, “Periods and menstrual pain are far too often medically overlooked and written off — just look at how long it takes for someone to be diagnosed with endometriosis — so any possible connection between menstruation and the COVID vaccine is worth investigating.” That practical assessment of the situation pretty much sums it up: There are tons of possibilities and unexplored reasons as to why these symptoms could be occurring, and downplaying that observation doesn’t do any of us any real benefit. It’s simply not prudent (and not scientific) to just dismiss a potential side effect without thorough investigation.
A New Concern for Women
While the general consensus from the medical community is that the vaccine doesn’t cause these irregularities and is in no way related to abnormal cycles, one OB/GYN, Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a professor at Yale University School of Medicine, is willing to put it bluntly: “Are there reports of funky periods? Yes. Do we have a ready explanation? I don’t think so.” Plainly speaking, it’s just too early to tell yet.
And therein lies the heart of what the majority of vaccine “skeptics” have been saying for a year now: It’s just too soon to know what the potential side effects could be, less than six months after vaccine rollout and a year since its inception.
Is this a bad thing? Not at all. Trial and error, and comprehensive, thorough investigation are how the scientific method functions as a process. It’s how hypotheses are proved and disproved, how judgments are made, and how projects are ultimately ruled on as being healthy and suitable for public distribution.
As more and more of the population is vaccinated, we’re finding out that the investigation and the process are ongoing. New side effects are being noted and experienced for the first time ever, and perhaps most importantly, women are more likely than men to feel adverse side effects. We probably won’t know for a few years yet the true extent of the possible consequences the vaccine can have on our bodies, which is all any of us have been saying in the first place. But as most of us already know, questioning the impact of such a widespread, mainstream, accepted mandate is tantamount to being completely anti-vaccine.
We won’t know for a few years the extent of the consequences the vaccine might have on our bodies.
A change, irregularity, or abnormality in your cycle is not anything to ignore, as most women know firsthand. These changes can indicate that our bodies are desperately trying to tell us something, or that they’re undergoing something they’ve never experienced before. Our periods are one of the best indicators of our hormonal and overall health.
Despite what the general public feeling of the day dictates, an abnormality in your cycle post-vaccine is nothing to write off as normal or ordinary. This could be your body’s stress response, true, but it could also mean a decrease in progesterone or a delay in ovulation (especially if you’ve also experienced a fever), and other potential reasons based on your body’s response to the jab.
The fact is, these experiences prove what many questioning the rapidity of vaccine rollout have been concerned with for the past few months: The true extent of the vaccine’s effects are not yet known, and for many of us, our bodies are experiencing possible consequences that were never before considered in the investigatory process.
Any irregularity, whether it’s inherently related to the vaccine or not, shouldn’t be ignored and should be taken seriously. What we’re now approaching, unfortunately, is the potential of women being scared to speak up about these issues for fear of threatening the mainstream agenda on vaccine distribution.
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