Health

Study says COVID-19 vaccine can last longer


SThe ideal effect from a vaccine is not unusual, and is in fact to be expected. But when the COVID-19 shot was first licensed in the US, the impact these vaccines had on the reproductive system was still unknown.

In a study published on September 27 in BMJ MedicineThe researchers provided more information on this question, documenting how the COVID-19 vaccine might affect menstrual cycles, as well as how long the effects last.

Alison Edelman, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, and her team conducted the largest analysis to date of Effects of vaccines on menstruation. It includes nearly 20,000 vaccinated and nearly 5,000 unvaccinated people around the world. Work is an extension of them first study to the point, focusing on data from the US

In the latest study, Edelman found that any COVID-19 vaccine can prolong menstrual cycles – the time between periods – by less than a day on average, although it has no effect much to prolonged bleeding time. The team also found that this change tended to last only for one cycle after vaccination and would resolve in the next period.

Edelman began looking into the issue after people began reporting changes in their cycle after vaccination to a US government database that tracks vaccine side effects. Survey also recorded changes in cycles. “Previously, there was no data on this issue,” she said. “We now have the information to know that vaccines change the menstrual cycle, at least at the population level. It looks like a short change and it should go back to normal pretty quickly. But it’s important information to have.”

The latest data add to existing data collected from the United States because they include larger numbers of people as well as more COVID-19 vaccines. While three photos (from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTechand Johnson & Johnson-Janssen) have been approved or authorized in the United States, other vaccines using different technologies (such as AstraZeneca’s) are also available around the world. Edelman and her team found that the effect on menstrual cycle length was similar for all COVID-19 vaccines. That means newer mRNA-based shots are unlikely to be associated with any menstrual changes compared with other vaccines, which should allay concerns about the new technology.

It’s not clear exactly how vaccines can induce changes in phases, but previous studies have suggested that this effect may be related to the cross-talk between the immune system, which is stimulated. activity after vaccination – and the reproductive system. Temporary inflammatory reactions following immunization, similar to those produced after natural infection, can affect processes such as ovulation, and the extent of the effect may depend on timing. in the cycle in which people are vaccinated. “At this point, we don’t know the exact mechanism, but there are many hypotheses based on established studies,” Edelman said. “We need more research to understand this.”

COVID-19 may offer a good opportunity to launch such research. Edelman and her team are also continuing to mine the data to answer other questions about how the COVID-19 vaccine might affect menstruation, including how the vaccine might affect fertility. menstrual body or not. They are also learning how being infected with COVID-19 can affect menstruation, as any type of infection affects menstruation. Data from the US and global populations collected in the studies to date were collected during the first year after the vaccine was licensed, from late 2020 to late 2021, when fewer people were infected. disease than in 2022, when Omicron variants are widespread and highly contagious.

The studies also didn’t take into account the potential effects of booster shots, which aren’t allowed in the US until fall 2021, so the scientists are also investigating whether the booster dose of the vaccine has an effect. affect the cycle in the same way.

While the increase in cycle length under a day may seem small, Edelman says it’s important to acknowledge that vaccines can affect menstruation. Building scientific knowledge around this topic can help people better monitor their fertility or know what to expect after getting vaccinated. “Hopefully this will form the basis for information on menstrual cycles and future vaccines,” she said. “Menstrual cycles have been badly understood for too long and we don’t realize the need for background information. Whether the cycles change or not is extremely important to know to reassure people and build confidence in something like a vaccine.”

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