Stress from COVID-19 pandemic has caused irregular menstrual cycles, study finds – ScienceDaily
Women and menstruating people have experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycles due to increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study from Northwestern Medicine has found.
This is the first American study to assess the impact of stress on periods.
The study surveyed more than 200 women and menstruating people in the United States between July and August 2020 to better understand how stress during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced their menstrual cycles. More than half (54%) of people in the study experienced changes in their menstrual cycle after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
According to the study, people who experienced higher stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to have heavier menstrual bleeding and a longer period of menstruation, compared to people with higher levels of stress. moderate stress.
The study, “Impact of Stress on Menstrual Cyclicity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey Study”, was published on September 28 in the Women’s Health Journal. It provides insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted women’s mental and reproductive health, the study’s authors said.
“We know that additional stress can have a negative impact on our overall health and well-being, but for women and people who are menstruating, stress can also disrupt normal menstrual cycles and overall reproductive health. “said senior author and correspondent Nicole Woitowich, assistant research professor in social and medical sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Previous research has shown that menstrual cycle irregularities are often reported by women who suffer from mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, or by those who face acute stressors such as disasters. natural causes, displacement, famine or defection.
“Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and its significant impact on mental health, this data is not surprising and confirms many anecdotal reports in the popular press and on social media,” Woitowich said.
Since the start of the pandemic, social media has been one of the main platforms where women and people who have periods can share questions or concerns about their menstrual cycles. It is only recently that these concerns have been addressed by the biomedical research community.
“Reproductive health should not be ignored in the context of COVID-19,” Woitowich said. “We are already seeing the ripple effects of what happens when we do not take this important aspect of women’s health into account, as many are now experiencing menstrual cycle irregularities as a result of COVID-19 vaccines or the ‘COVID-19 infection. “
Other Northwestern co-authors include Dr. Kara Goldman, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology (reproductive endocrinology and infertility) at Feinberg, and Feinberg’s former students Noelle Ozimek, Karen Velez, Hannah Anvari, and Lauren Butler.
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Material provided by Northwestern University. Original written by Kristin Samuelson. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.