The fourth and the biggest phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive commenced on May 1, 2021. Registrations have finally opened up for all the population above the age of eighteen. We are going through a time when our nation is struggling with the worst crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. In this situation, getting vaccinated is the need of the hour for us.
However, several myths are doing the rounds, clouding people’s judgement about taking the vaccine. And one such misinformation surfacing on social media and WhatsApp forwards is that women should not get vaccinated during menstruation. We urge you to not rely on unverified sources for such content and verify the facts from a doctor.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Menstrual Cycle
As they say, it is important that you take anything you find on social media with a pinch of salt. The vaccine does not affect your period. In fact, the COVID-19 vaccines are one of our best preventive tools to fight the deadly virus and tide over this second wave of the pandemic.
To start with, there is no actual data or evidence to connect COVID-19 vaccines to your menstrual cycle. Millions of women worldwide have already taken the vaccine and no worrying claims were recorded anywhere. It is a vaccine that you need to take as soon as you can. Presently, the vaccine is safe for all women above the age of eighteen.
We also need to understand that the menstrual cycle is a natural bodily process that does not decrease or limit the immune response of your body. Menstruation comes with hormonal changes that might minimally impact the way you react to side effects or an illness. However, it absolutely does not decrease your immunity.
Hormones like progesterone and estrogen fluctuate before a woman is on her period. It might lead to PMS (premenstrual syndrome) but does not impact your immunity. You can and should schedule vaccination at your convenience and not avoid taking it because you are on your period.
Vaccines do not affect your menstrual cycle. However, we are going through a time when stress, mental strain and anxiety are at their peak. Stress might cause some variations in your period pattern, such as making them mildly heavy, slightly irregular or maybe even missing them for a month. Even if you do not get your period, it will not affect the efficacy of the vaccine. There is absolutely no correlation between menstruation and vaccination.
Also, having a slightly irregular or delayed period for a month is not a cause for worry. You should consult a doctor only if your periods are irregular every month.
Do Women Tend To Experience More Side Effects?
Vaccines work on our bodies by injecting an inactive or modified pathogen to start an immune response. Your menstrual cycle or any other bodily processes cannot impact this reaction. So it is as safe for women to get vaccinated as it is for men. The occurrence of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine is heterogeneous. We do not have enough evidence to link the side effects to a particular gender or age.
So, what about those reports that say women have noticed slight changes in their menstrual cycle after getting vaccinated? Well, to answer this, we have to reiterate a previously mentioned point. If you notice any irregularity in your menstrual cycle, it is due to the stress and anxiety stemming from the pandemic. There is no reason to blame the COVID-19 vaccine for it.
You must discuss any changes in your menstrual cycle with your healthcare provider so that the best way to manage the condition is figured out and this may actually hint at an underlying health issue and not necessarily due to covid vaccination.
Precautions to Take Before Getting Vaccinated
If you are getting vaccinated during your period and you want to avoid complications, keeping a few things in mind is necessary.
One of the crucial facts to remember is that dehydration can cause cramps during periods. With the progesterone and estrogen levels dropping, the body starts to retain more water. Thus, it needs more water to maintain balance and have the bodily processes going smoothly. Also, you should stay two times more hydrated if you are getting vaccinated around or during your periods.
Here are a few more precautions to keep in mind before, during and after vaccination:
At The Vaccination Centre:
When you are waiting in line outside the vaccination centre and after you are inside, you should:
- Keep the mask on all the time.
- Please do not touch the mask after it is on and properly fitted.
- Maintain at least a meter’s distance between others and yourself.
- Do not touch your face.
- Wash and sanitise your hands after touching furniture, surfaces or door handles.
You should keep the mask on at the time of the appointment and keep your face away from the face of the person administering the vaccine. It will help keep both you and the vaccinator safe. It is entirely okay to feel anxious or nervous. But remember, it is only a tiny prick and it is going to protect you against deadly coronavirus. If it helps, take slow breaths and turn your face away from the needle.
Some minor side effects are expected after you get vaccinated. The side effects are signs that your body is developing immune protection. A few of the common side effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines are:
- Muscle ache
- Mild pain and swelling on the arm where you got the jab.
As you can see, we did not mention anything related to menstruation on the side effects.
What Can women do to stay healthy?
Combating covid or vaccine stress will ensure your periods are normal. You must continue to follow a healthy lifestyle in order to keep stress and anxiety at bay for overall good health.
Exercising regularly provides several benefits for your body. It can help manage your blood sugar levels, weight and well-being. While the pandemic has forced us to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, exercising can actually help lessen the effects of stress on the body.
Get Proper Sleep
Good sleep is recommended for everyone to overcome stress. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is important. Sleep disturbances and inadequate rest can affect your hormones and subsequently, your menstrual cycle.
Watch Your Diet and Stay Hydrated
A balanced diet is one that contains adequate levels of carbohydrates, proteins, low-fat, low-sugar, and iron-rich foods. When you eat too much or don’t eat enough, it can affect your menstrual cycle. You must drink enough water for a healthy body.
Avoid Things that Causes Stress
There can be a lot of factors in our environment which trigger stress. It affects our diet, sleep schedule, and medication. Try to set a healthy routine for yourself, indulge in social interactions virtually because not meeting your loved ones can be a major cause of stress.
In A Nutshell
By now, it is clear that the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect menstrual cycles. So, we urge all our eligible readers to get vaccinated as soon as possible, regardless of whether they are menstruating. If your menstrual cycle is getting affected due to anxiety related to COVID and the stress of working from home, get in touch with a doctor without further delay. And finally, we should refrain as much from believing in rumours as from spreading unverified information.
1. Should I reschedule my COVID-19 vaccination appointment if I am menstruating?
As the oestrogen levels fall during menstruation you may feel weak. This may especially happen if you experience heavy and painful periods. In this case you may consider rescheduling your COVID-19 vaccination appointment because the vaccine may cause lethargy and fever in some people. However, taking the vaccine is important and you must not neglect it.
2. Which covid vaccine should I take during menstruation?
You may opt for any COVID-19 vaccine that’s available for you. None of the covid vaccines have any guidelines related to menstruation and all the vaccines are more or less effective.
3. What are the possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccine?
A COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:
- Pain, redness or swelling at the injected site
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling unwell
- Swollen lymph nodes
You’ll be monitored for 15 minutes after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an allergic reaction. Most of these side effects will go away in a few days, if not, you must consult the doctor.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.