No biologic mechanism for menstrual changes post-vaccine

(85 Posts)
pagesofsnow555 Tue 13-Apr-21 18:29:25

'There is no biologic mechanism that would account for [the] disruption of the menstrual cycle following receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine,' Mark Turrentine, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, said.

Does anyone else find this not comforting at all? If there is literally no biological mechanism in the vaccine to account for menstrual changes, it basically means no one has a clue what is causing it. Or am I reading that in the wrong way? Should it be comforting?

(Quotes from a DM article

OP’s posts: |
FlibbertyGiblets Tue 13-Apr-21 18:34:09

He means it is a bias confirmation thing.
You note a white car, suddenly you see loads of white cars. There aren't more, you're just noticing them.

You hear about menstrual changes,after having the vaccine. You have your vaccine, you have a period. You think it is an odd one, it prob isn't.

Also see: nocebo effect.

lljkk Tue 13-Apr-21 18:40:20

Anxiety. I reckon anxiety could do it.
Anxiety can lead to diverse real symptoms.

Roonerspismed Tue 13-Apr-21 18:41:12

It means they don’t know.

We need to keep recording it so at the least people having IVF or TTC can plan

pagesofsnow555 Tue 13-Apr-21 18:44:06

@FlibbertyGiblets ok - thanks, that makes some sense. @lljkk
I just find it hard to wrap my head around the sheer number of women talking about this as a side effect. and the mentions of post-menopausal women bleeding etc.
If it is indeed caused by benign anxiety or nocebo effect - that is great - but what if it isn't?
And if there is a possibility it isn't, shouldn't it be getting more attention/investigation? I do not work in health care or science so I don't know how these things are usually approached

OP’s posts: |
HSHorror Tue 13-Apr-21 19:09:07

What about
Anaemia (i think the body is using iron to do antibodies)
Something to do with the blood clotting
Missing ovulation because you are unwell

My period seems fine after.
But is irregular anyway

Buzzinwithbez Tue 13-Apr-21 19:14:45

Two friends who were oblivious about any discussion around it mentioned their changes in cycle to me. They had recent vaccines but hadn't made any link.
I'm glad it's getting more mainstream discussion now.

SunnySideAndMarmite Tue 13-Apr-21 20:02:43

Surely being run down/tired can affect periods, so if the vaccine wipes you out a bit that's what causes it?

I'm wondering if that doesn't count as a "biological mechanism" as it's not direct enough. IE the vaccine doesn't interfere with hormones, doesn't make the uterus contract, nothing direct.

paralysedbyinertia Tue 13-Apr-21 20:07:27

Funnily enough, my period has been all over the place recently. Started two weeks earlier than expected and was much more painful than usual.

I would certainly have put this down to the vaccine, except for the fact that it started unexpected in the morning before I had the jab. Sometimes, things just happen, and it could just be pure coincidence.

scpips Tue 13-Apr-21 20:10:05

I am sure that there are many possible explanations as to why this is happening, including that it might be caused by anxiety and a result of the bias confirmation effect. And just like everything else they all need to be researched properly.
But what makes me so fed up is hearing how these are the first reasons that are used to explain why this is happening, the hysterical women and their inability to read their own bodies explanations.

TheFuckThatIGave Tue 13-Apr-21 20:12:30

Well it's only happening to women, so clearly it doesn't really matter...

BarbaraofSeville Tue 13-Apr-21 20:12:44

Or its entirely coincidental. When perimenopausal your periods are all over the place. I'm 47 and didn't have one between May last year and February this year. I was starting to think that was it and then they came back. Who knows what's going to happen going forwards?

What you have to remember when you give millions of people a vaccine in a short space of time, many are going to associate all manner of coincidental and quite likely unconnected health concerns with the vaccine. But unless you have evidence of a mechanism or some good standard data, it doesn't mean very much.

People who want to learn more may wish to listen to the BBC's More or Less Podcasts, where this has been discussed a few times.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 13-Apr-21 20:14:31

So far it’s been mainly older women who have had the vaccine and they would be having period fluctuations any way

waitingforsun Tue 13-Apr-21 20:15:47

Dr Jen Gunter has written a great piece about this topic. She's on Instagram but she has a website/blog too, called 'The Vajenda'.

Roonerspismed Tue 13-Apr-21 20:23:33

grumpy it’s causing women who haven’t had periods for years to bleed.

That’s significant for many reasons.

Msmcc1212 Tue 13-Apr-21 20:45:06

I think there is still so much more to learn about the role of hormones and the immune system. Science is great. Medicine is amazing. We have fantastic expertise available but we still have so much to learn, especially about women’s bodies and how they work. Doesn’t put me off having vaccine though.

Poorlykitten Tue 13-Apr-21 20:49:39

Is it coincidence that people are noticing it after being vaccinated when we have just vaccinated thousands of women in their 50 (menopausal women)...? Or anxiety related?

Porcupineintherough Tue 13-Apr-21 20:49:53

The thing is, covid can really fuck with your cycle so it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the vaccine can too. But whether that's directly or through the effect of stress, who knows. In my 20s my periods disappeared for a whole 6 months when I emigrated but whether that was due to stress, a change in climate or a surfeit of pineapples who can say?

Buzzinwithbez Tue 13-Apr-21 20:53:05

After all the myths we've had around covid and all the question marks over things we can't know 'because it's a novel virus' it's completely surprising to me that we can confident feel we do know everything we need to know about how these vaccines will interact with each of our unique bodies.

bookworm1632 Tue 13-Apr-21 20:59:31

We've just rolled it out to a whole bunch of women in their 50's.

If there hadn't been menstrual changes, global news would currently be xxx vaccine STOPS menopause!

Temp023 Tue 13-Apr-21 21:01:52

I’ve only seen it mentioned here on MN! I think you’re all talking yourselves into a problem!

Poorlykitten Tue 13-Apr-21 21:08:16

I’ve only heard it on MN too. It’s quite common to not bleed for months and even a year and then have a period again. Happened to a couple of my friends...all pre-covid.

CovoidOfAllHumanity Tue 13-Apr-21 22:05:00

Here's my (hopefully reassuring) story about this

I volunteered for the AZ vaccine trial
I missed a period after my first trial vaccine dose for the first time in my life
I was really freaked out. Took pregnancy tests etc. My periods are usually pretty regular.
I reported it as a side effect as you are supposed to

However when they unblinded the trial it was the placebo vaccine that I'd had so it could not possibly have been anything to do with the vaccine and must have been a coincidence

I am 45 and I was stressed out of my head working for the NHS in a pandemic at the time so probably it was just those 2 things.

If it was really a common side effect then why would it not show up in the trials? I think it's a coincidence I really do.

time4anothername Tue 13-Apr-21 22:48:30

high cortisol can affect periods (look up high dose oral steroid effect on menstrual cycle). Stress of the vaccine could produce a cortisol surge as one of the mechanisms of changing menstrual cycle.

HSHorror Wed 14-Apr-21 00:08:10

Didnt AZ placebo contain meningitis vaccine??

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