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Covid Vaccines and Menses: Is it Safe?

Covid Vaccines and Menses: Is it Safe?

COVID-19 vaccine does not meddle with the menstrual cycle, say, Motherhood doctors

As more people come forward to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, it is important to get some myths around the vaccine and women's health out of the way.

When 40-year-old Snehal was going through the stream of messages circulating in her friends groups on social media platforms, she was surprised to notice a concerning status about periods and vaccination. This forwarded message, which has gone viral, said that women should not take the COVID-19 vaccine five days prior and five days after they get their periods as it would affect their immunity and result in irregular periods.  

She had just taken her jab a few days earlier while she was menstruating, so she was perplexed by this information. I was on the third day of my periods when I took the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and I do not seem to have any issues. Of course, I felt a little tired and had a mild fever, but I was already told that these are common reactions to the vaccine that would subside soon .

As the Indian Government has opened vaccinations above the age of 18 years from May 1 onwards, there are a lot of myths flying around on the effect of the vaccines on menstruating, pregnant, and lactating women. Social media is full of such posts warning such groups of women to refrain from taking the jab. As the vaccinations are available to all adults now, this has resulted in confusion. Many women who have seen the message, are concerned whether the vaccine have an adverse affect on their menstrual cycle. But doctors at Motherhood Hospital have reiterated that the claims being circulated have no basis in the truth and that it is completely safe for women to get inoculated before, during, and after the menstruation cycle.

With the COVID vaccine bringing hope for all adults in India to get protection against the deadly virus, it is important to bust any myths around vaccines in relation to women's reproductive health. According to Dr. Manju Gupta, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida, it is a myth that women's immunity is weakened during the menstrual cycle and that taking the jab at such a time will result in heavy or irregular periods.   

COVID vaccinations are for increasing your body's immunity to fight against the virus. So, how can it have an adverse impact on the body? There is no scientific data available to prove that taking the COVID vaccine before, during, or after menstruation will meddle with our periods. Women should stay away from such claims. Generally, our periods last for five days, and during this time, we shed our endometrium (the lining or inner membrane of the uterus). During the menstrual cycle, the endometrium grows into a thick, blood vessel-rich, glandular tissue layer, and this tissue is shed, which results in bleeding. So, the body's immunity is intact and does not get weakened, explains Dr. Gupta.

She added that many of the women doctors have taken their vaccine during periods and did not have any problems. Vaccination is essential even if you get COVID after taking the jab, it protects you from getting your condition worsened. Women should not believe such myths. If you are unsure, contact your physician or gynaecologist to get an expert opinion. But, get yourself vaccinated and follow COVID appropriate behavior, said Dr. Gupta.

Following social media posts about menstruation and the COVID-19 vaccine, various medical and women's health organizations have come forward to dispel such invalid posts. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have both released statements assuring that the COVID-19 vaccine does not adversely affect a woman's menstrual cycle and that it is safe to take the vaccine during periods.

In fact, both agencies have reiterated that early data regarding the vaccine reveals that it is safe for pregnant and lactating mothers to administer the vaccine and that it may not cause any harm to mother and baby. Here, the Indian Government responding to the fake news has appealed to the people to ignore such messages and take the initiative to get themselves and all family members above 18 years of age, vaccinated.     

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