Thousands of women have reported their disrupted periods to the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme (Pictures: Rex Features/Getty Images)
More than 30,000 women in Britain have said their periods were disrupted after they got the coronavirus vaccine.
Many reported having an unsettled menstrual cycle after being jabbed, but any changes are thought to be ‘short-lived’, according to Dr Victoria Male, a lecturer in reproductive immunology at Imperial College London.
Usually, women return to normal after one or two cycles. The apparent disruption is not listed as a side-effect, but the academic has called for it to be further examined.
Despite there being no evidence that the vaccine affects fertility, she believes ‘failing to thoroughly investigate reports of menstrual changes after vaccination is likely to fuel (false) fears’ about it doing so.
Dr Male wrote in an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) : ‘If a link between vaccination and menstrual changes is confirmed, this information will allow people to plan for potentially altered cycles.
‘Clear and trusted information is particularly important for those who rely on being able to predict their menstrual cycles to either achieve or avoid pregnancy.’
There have been 30,000 reports of a disrupted period to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)’s Yellow Card Scheme.
Doctors have acknowledged how ‘concerning’ it can be to experience period disruptions (Picture: Getty Images)
People can report any adverse side-effects to the vaccine for scientists to investigate
This is a website that allows people to note any adverse reactions to the vaccine – so scientists know to investigate any side effects that come up often enough.
But this does not necessarily mean the symptoms people attribute to the vaccine were actually caused by the jab and the MHRA is not convinced the jab disturb’s women’s menstrual cycles.
This is because these reports are ‘low relative to both the number of people vaccinated and the prevalence of menstrual disorders generally’, Dr Male said.
She wrote: ‘Although reported changes to the menstrual cycle after vaccination are short-lived, robust research into this possible adverse reaction remains critical to the overall success of the vaccination programme.’
Similarly, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ vice president, Dr Jo Mountfield, reassured women that their cycles should quickly return to normal.
She said: ‘We would encourage anyone who experiences heavy bleeding that is unusual for them, especially after the menopause, to speak to a healthcare professional.’
There is no evidence that indicated vaccines affect fertility (Picture: Rex Features)
But both doctors stressed the importance of making it clear there is no evidence to show the vaccine affects fertility.
Dr Male said it is even unlikely the reported period disruption is caused by the vaccine itself, arguing instead that it is ‘a result of the immune response to vaccination’.
Dr Mountfield. who has supported calls for more research into the vaccine’s effect on the menstrual cycle, went to encourage women wanting to have children to come forward and get jabbed.
‘As we know unvaccinated pregnant women are more at risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19,’ she said.
Chief safety officer at the MHRA, Dr Alison Cave, said they are ‘closely monitoring reports of suspected menstrual disorders’ through the ‘robust’ yellow card scheme.
She continued: ‘Based on our current rigorous safety monitoring, women can be reassured that the current evidence does not show a link with any changes in women’s periods or symptoms, nor is there any evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. This is also the conclusion of our expert scientific advisory committee, the Commission on Human Medicines.
‘Whilst uncomfortable or distressing, period problems are extremely common and stressful life events can disrupt women’s periods. Changes to the menstrual cycle have also been reported following infection with Covid-19 and in women affected by long-Covid.
‘Our advice remains that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for most people.’
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