The new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has resulted in indescribable fear, panic and stress. Along with that, there is also debate and confusion surrounding the vaccine – especially for women. When a few Whatsapp forwards went viral about the vaccine affecting menstruation cycles, women we spoke to said they felt cornered and helpless; like the vaccine was their one way out, and now that was gone too.
To address this and clear any doubt, we turned to #NuaExpert on Gynaecology Dr. Vaishali Joshi, an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Mumbai.
Q: Does coronavirus affect menstrual cycles?
A COVID-19 infection does not affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, flow or duration. FOGSI has issued a statement on this regard and refuted all the myths circulating on social media.
Q: Does coronavirus affect women who have PCOD/PCOS?
No, a COVID-19 infection does not affect women with PCOD/PCOS differently.
Q: Does the COVID-19 vaccination have any effect on menstruation?
No, it does not have any effect on menstruation. There has been no evidence or data to suggest or validate the claim that the COVID-19 vaccine affects hormones, periods and flow. International advisory bodies and organisations have not acknowledged any impact of the vaccine on menstruation. It is also important to note that one doesn’t need to reschedule their vaccination date depending on the presence of their period. One can take the vaccine any time of the menstrual cycle irrespective of whether the woman is on her period or not.
Q: Does it affect menopausal women?
Most menopausal women are over 50 year of age and are considered high risk for COVID-19 infection. This is mostly due to age related comorbidities such as diabetes and blood pressure problems. Menopause is not an independent risk factor if a woman is healthy and fit. All women >18 years of age, irrespective of their periods and hormonal status, should get vaccinated.
Q: Can a pregnant woman take the vaccine?
Currently, it is not recommended in India by the Ministry of Health. Internationally, however, the COVID-19 vaccine has been recommended to pregnant and lactating women.