Since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, thousands of women in the UK have been saying that their periods have been disrupted. After more than 30,000 women said their menstrual cycle somewhat altered after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Victoria Male, a Reproductive Immunologist from Imperial College London, wrote in the British Medical Journal that while these changes are safe and short-lived, has stated that an investigation as to why this happens is crucial.
“Robust research into this possible adverse reaction remains critical to the overall success of the vaccination program. One important lesson is that the effects of medical interventions on menstruation should not be an afterthought in future research,” wrote Dr. Male.
Caroline Criado-Perez, the author of Invisible Women, said: “As with most clinical studies, the COVID-19 vaccine trials did not investigate menstrual cycle effects — in fact, in many trials women are wholesale excluded because of potential menstrual cycle effects, so perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies that women were included at all.”
There is no reason to be significantly concerned about menstrual changes and long-term impacts, writes Dr. Male, as the vast majority of those reporting the post-vaccine alterations state that normality ensues quickly.
There is evidence of a relationship between light exposure and melatonin secretion and irregular menstrual cycles, menstrual cycle symptoms, and disordered ovarian function.
Many clinical studies have been focusing on the effects of light therapy on menstrual cycle symptoms. The reduction of melatonin is always a critical factor in menstrual cycle symptoms. This study supports the hypothesis that women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder display blunted circadian rhythms that may reflect an underlying dampened circadian oscillator. Such blunted circadian rhythms also have been reported in aging individuals. There is a two-oscillator model of melatonin regulation in humans in that onset and offset times changed independently during the menstrual cycle and light treatments differentially altered the timing of melatonin secretion duration.
Red light therapy is beneficial for circadian rhythm regulation. The previous study described that using red light, women with menstrual cycle symptoms regulated faster the circadian rhythm and improved their physical and psychological condition.
We explain more about the benefits of menstrual pain here and the importance of red light for sleep.
Neuroendocrine effects of light therapy in late luteal phase dysphoric disorder
In 20 late luteal phase dysphoric disorder (LLPDD) and in 11 normal control (NC) subjects, circadian profiles of…www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com