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Women’s Health

Women’s Periods May Be Late After Coronavirus Vaccination, Study Suggests

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Shortly after the coronavirus vaccines were introduced about a year ago, women reported irregular menstrual cycles after vaccination.

Some said their period was late. Others reported bleeding more than usual or bleeding painfully. Some postmenopausal women who have not had a period in years even reported that they were menstruated again.

A study published Thursday found that women’s menstrual cycle actually changed after vaccination against the coronavirus. The authors reported that vaccinated women had slightly longer menstrual cycles after vaccination than unvaccinated women.

However, their periods themselves, which averaged nearly a day later, were not prolonged and the effects were temporary, with cycle length returning to normal within a month or two. For example, someone with a 28-day menstrual cycle that started with seven days of bleeding would still start a seven-day period, but the cycle would be 29 days. The cycle ends when the next period begins and would go back to 28 days within a month or two.

The delay was more pronounced in women who received both doses of vaccine during the same menstrual cycle. These women had their periods two days later than usual, the researchers found.

The study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology is one of the first to support anecdotal reports from women that their menstrual cycles were disrupted after vaccination, said Dr. Hugh Taylor, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at Yale. Medical school.

“It confirms that there is something real here,” said Dr. Taylor, who has heard of irregular cycles from his own patients.

At the same time, he added, the changes observed in the study were insignificant and appeared to be transitory.

“I want to make sure we get people away from these false myths about fertility effects,” said Dr. Taylor. “A missed cycle or two can be annoying, but medically it won’t be harmful.”

He had a different message for postmenopausal women who experience vaginal bleeding or spotting, whether after vaccination or not, and warned that they may have a serious medical condition and should be examined by a doctor.

A serious disadvantage of the study, which focused on US citizens, is that the sample is not nationally representative and cannot be generalized to the general population.

The data was provided by a company called Natural Cycles, which is developing an app to track fertility. Its users are more likely to be white and university educated than the US population as a whole; You’re also thinner than the average American woman – weight can affect menstruation – and don’t use hormonal contraceptives.

For women of childbearing potential, the results should be reassuring, said Dr. Diana Bianchi, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health and NICHD helped fund the study and related research at Boston University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, and Michigan State University.)

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Jan. 6, 2022, 9:08 p.m. ET

“Your providers can say, ‘If you have an extra day, that’s normal, it’s nothing to worry about,'” said Dr. Bianchi.

The study was conducted by researchers from Oregon Health & Science University and Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School in collaboration with investigators from Natural Cycles, whose app is used by millions of women around the world.

Anonymized data from users who agreed to have their information included in the research provided a wealth of evidence of how women’s cycles have changed during the pandemic.

The researchers looked at the records of nearly 4,000 women who meticulously tracked their menstruation in real time, including about 2,400 who were vaccinated against the coronavirus and about 1,550 who were not. All were US citizens aged 18 to 45 who had logged their periods for at least six months.

In the vaccinated, the researchers looked at the three pre- and post-vaccination cycles for changes and compared them to a similar six-month duration in women who were not vaccinated.

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Important Things You Should Know

Overall, vaccination after both vaccination doses was associated with an average change in cycle length of less than a full day compared to pre-vaccination cycles. There were no significant changes in the unvaccinated group over the six months.

Future studies using the database will look at other aspects of menstruation, such as whether the period was heavier or more painful after the vaccination.

The results of the new study may not apply to all women equally. In fact, much of the change in cycle length was driven by a small group of 380 vaccinated women whose cycle changed for at least two days, said Dr. Alison Edelman, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University and the lead author of the paper.

Some women who were vaccinated had cycles that were eight days longer than usual, which is considered clinically important, said Dr. Edelman.

“Although cycle length varied less than a day across the population, this could be a big deal for a person depending on their perspective and what they are relying on menstruation for,” she said. “Maybe you are expecting a pregnancy, you may be worried about a pregnancy, maybe you are wearing white pants.”

It is not clear why the vaccination might affect the menstrual cycle, but most women with regular menstrual periods experience an unusual menstrual cycle or missed menstrual period occasionally. Hormones secreted by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and ovaries regulate the monthly cycle and can be influenced by environmental factors, stressors and life changes.

(The changes seen in the study were not caused by pandemic-related conditions, the authors said, since women in the unvaccinated group lived in the pandemic as well.)

Whether other vaccines affect menstruation is unknown – clinical trials of vaccines and therapeutics generally don’t track menstrual data points unless investigators are specifically testing therapeutics as contraceptives or fertility enhancers, or want to rule out pregnancy.

“We hope this experience will encourage vaccine manufacturers and therapeutic clinical trials to ask questions about the menstrual cycle, just as you would consider other vital signs,” said Dr. Bianchi.

The information is important, as is knowing that you may have a headache or develop a fever after vaccination, said Dr. Edelman.

“Men who menstruate spend a week a month, sometimes more, menstruating,” said Dr. Edelman. “If you add up the time over 40 years, that’s practically ten years of menstruation.”

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Women’s Health

‘An amazing resource’ | Breast and GYN Health Project helps those with cervical and other gynecologic cancers – Times-Standard

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Genie Brady spent part of her vacation in an emergency room in May 2018. Returning home to Eureka, she checked in with her doctor, then a gynecologist.

Shortly thereafter, Brady, now 41, was diagnosed with stage 1A or early stages cervical cancer.

“It was a big shock,” said Brady, who works for a mortgage loan solutions company and has an interest in Humboldt Roller Derby. “…I had moved here for school, so I didn’t have my family[here]. The support system I had was friends I had accumulated through school, roller derby and work. It wasn’t something I could talk to anyone about right away. I had just gone through a cancer situation with my surrogate who died from it and even when you catch it early there are all these feelings.”

Looking for support, Brady turned to the internet and found the Breast and GYN Health Project (BGHP), a local nonprofit that serves as a community resource for support and education for those dealing with breast or gynecologic cancer issues.

“I googled and looked for a support group and they were the first to come up, so I reached out and got all their glorious benefits,” Brady said.

The project’s services, which are offered at no cost, include a patient navigation program, support groups, information specialists, volunteers, an extensive resource library, and more.

“The (Breast and GYN Health) Project helps people with breast or gynecology cancer by providing a lot of education. We can help explain things your doctors might tell you. We can help them come up with questions they might want to ask,” said Madelin Amir, Director of Customer Services. “We help them before, during and after diagnosis and treatment.

“With cervical cancer,” Amir said, “they sometimes need special treatment from a gynecologic oncologist. If they or local healthcare providers need help locating them, BGHP can help. We also have a support group for people with any type of gynecological cancer. Although they may have different types of cancer, women with these types of cancer usually have common experiences.”

Rose Gale-Zoellick, executive director of the Breast and GYN Health Project added, “Although we do not provide medical care at our facility, clients will find the education that both Dr. Mary Meengs (Medical Advisor) and Madelin Amir, very helpful. Madelin is a Registered Female Health Nurse. Her experience and training is useful in educating and supporting people living with gynecologic cancer.

Rose Gale-Zoellick is executive director of the nonprofit Breast and GYN Health Project. (Courtesy of BGHP)

“Although cancer diagnosis and treatment have improved significantly over the years, the social and emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis has not changed significantly over the past 25 years. The statistics that every eighth woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime have not changed either. Local cancer patients still have a great need for the cancer support services that the BGHP offers,” said Gale-Zoellick.

In addition to receiving a special binder to keep her medical records and appointments in order, Brady said BGHP helped her find financial support resources for transportation and housing when she went to her doctor’s appointments in Santa Rosa.

“The biggest thing for me is (however) the self-help group. While you’re in the middle of it, it’s just a decision, decision, decision — and when you get past that, you have to deal with all the losses and gains — there’s still a way to go,” said Brady, who attends the support group for young women and the gynecologic cancer support group.

“Being able to laugh and cry and bitch and feel heard and to be a part of others who have been on this journey, even though it may not be quite the same, it’s (so) helpful,” said Brady. “…There’s a bit of different information in both groups, but both are amazing groups of women. It’s such a gem, an amazing resource. I’m so glad it’s here.”

Brady – whose treatment included a total hysterectomy – says she is now a “cancer survivor” who wants to make sure the breast and GYN health project is available to those who need it.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and the people at BGHP are hoping to be educated about this less common type of gynecologic cancer.

“Endometrium, which is the same as uterus, is the most common gynecological cancer, and next comes the type of cancers that are grouped together and called ovarian cancer…and then below that would be cervical cancer,” said Dr. Mary Meengs. Medical advisor to the BGHP and breast cancer survivor.

The American Cancer Society – https://www.cancer.org – estimates that there will be more than 14,400 new cases of invasive cervical cancer in 2021. (Cervical progenitors are detected far more frequently than invasive cervical cancer, she noted.) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two screening tests that can help prevent or detect cervical cancer early: the Pap smear (Pap test ) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) test. Getting the HPV vaccine—and not smoking—can also help prevent cervical cancer.

“These two things (Pap smear and HPV vaccine) in both early detection and prevention are so dramatic,” said Meengs, who co-chairs the Breast Cancer Support Group and the Advanced Disease Support Group. “…Work with your provider and see when a Pap smear and/or HPV test is due.”

Amir added: “It is really important that women have routine Pap tests and if they have an abnormal Pap test that they are followed up as recommended. It’s not uncommon for women to sometimes feel embarrassed when they haven’t had pap for a long time. Don’t be afraid to get checked out, even if it’s been a long time. Life gets in the way and we do our best. I encourage women to follow up as recommended if they have an abnormal Pap test. Ultimately, early treatment can help save your life. If you find you have gynecological cancer, the BGHP is here to support you. You don’t have to do this alone.”

The Breast and GYN Health Project helped 335 people in 2021. Eight of those people had cervical cancer, Gale-Zoellick said.

“In 2020, BGHP helped four people with cervical cancer,” she said. “We believe the increase is due to local ob-gyn and ob-gyn offices learning about our services and making recommendations, not because more women are developing cervical cancer.”

For more information on the Breast and GYN Health Project, visit https://bghp.org or call 707-825-8345. The BGHP office is located at 987 Eighth St. in Arcata.

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Women’s Health

For Your Health for Jan. 17, 2022 | Journal-news

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SCH expands free community COVID-19 testing

MARTINSBURG — Shenandoah Community Health is expanding its free COVID-19 community testing hours. The PCR test is now available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm without an appointment or order via the drive-thru test tent at 99 Tavern Road.

This service is available to SCH patients and non-patients alike, and results are typically received directly from the lab within 24 to 48 hours.

Healthy Berkeley announces new health and wellness app

MARTINSBURG – Health Berkeley has announced the launch of the Change Your State app to bring health and wellness to local communities.

Focused on the areas of mind, movement and food, the app is designed to provide a wealth of resources for community residents.

App resources include blog posts, workouts, healthy recipes, and meditations. Users can also track their daily goals and earn points for completing those goals. All participants who accumulate a minimum number of points each month participate in the monthly prizes.

There will also be a Change Your State Facebook page and a weekly Change Your State podcast for those who don’t have a smartphone.

The free app will be available to download from January 8th in the Apple and Google Play Stores by searching for “Change Your State”. The App Challenge runs from January 15th to April 15th.

For more information, contact Abby Veigel at abbyveigel@gmail.com or Dana DeJarnett at dana.dejarnett@wvumedicine.org.

WVU Medicine offers a safe walking program

MARTINSBURG – Walk with Ease, an Arthritis Foundation-certified program to share strategies for safe and comfortable walking, will be held at the Berkeley 2000 Center, 273 Woodbury Ave. offered in Martinsburg.

The program will be offered from January 25 to March 3, 2022 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. All participants receive the Walk With Ease Guide Book, and the program is free and open to all.

This structured, six-week walking program is designed to help people with arthritis better manage their pain, but anyone can participate and benefit from the program. Based on research and tested programs in exercise science, behavior modification and arthritis management, Walk With Ease has been shown to reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis, increase balance, strength and walking pace, build confidence to be physically active and improve the general health.

Walk With Ease is a structured walking program that provides support, information, and tools to help participants develop successful exercise routines. During the program, participants will learn proper stretching and pain management techniques, as well as building endurance and walking speed.

Pre-registration for the Walk With Ease program is required and places are limited. Masks are suggested and social distancing will be followed. For more information or to register, call the Berkeley Extension Office at 304-264-1936 or contact Dana DeJarnett at 304-264-1287, ext. 31814 or dana.dejarnett@wvumedicine.org. Before beginning any exercise program, always consult your doctor.

Free National Diabetes Prevention Program Kit

WINCHESTER, Va. – Valley Health is offering new sessions of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a free 12-month course designed to help adults at risk of developing diabetes who are willing to make lasting lifestyle changes. One group meets virtually on Mondays from 12-1pm and the other meets in person on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30pm at Warren Memorial Hospital

To be eligible for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, individuals must be overweight, not have a diagnosis of diabetes, and have one or more of the following: Elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes, physical inactivity, and a history of gestational diabetes.

To learn more, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/diabetes or call 540-536-5108 for the virtual program or 540-636-0314 for the in-person program at Warren Memorial Hospital.

Tai Chi begins at Berkeley Senior Services

MARTINSBURG – Tai Chi takes place on Mondays at 10:00 a.m. at Berkeley Senior Services on the High Street. Casual clothing and masks recommended.

For more information, call Eldon at 304-264-4783.

Good Samaritan Free Clinic schedule

MARTINSBURG – The Good Samaritan offers free health care for the uninsured and underinsured. The main clinic is located at 601 S. Raleigh St., Martinsburg. They do not keep appointments and look after the family doctor’s practice in all clinics except for the women’s health evening.

The opening hours of the clinic are:

• Wednesdays at 5pm

• First Tuesday of the month at 5pm

• Women’s Health Clinic on the third Tuesday at 5 pm

• Rescue mission every Monday from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.

Visit www.goodsamaritanfreeclinic.org for more information.

Living Well program manager training

MARTINSBURG – Free leadership training for a program to help people cope with chronic illness will be held via Zoom from January 19 to March 2, 2022.

Leaders help others learn the skills they need to manage their chronic conditions and improve their quality of life. No prior teaching or healthcare experience is required, just a willingness to help others improve their health.

Executives must attend all seven weeks of free training to be certified. The first session will take place on January 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Two meetings will be held every Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the next six weeks until March 2nd.

For more information or to register, contact Dana M. DeJarnett at 304-264-1287 ext. 31814 or dana.dejarnett@wvumedicine.org. Registration closes on January 14th.

Virtual Chronic Pain Self-Treatment Program, new session announced

MARTINSBURG – Living Well, a Chronic Pain Self-Management Program, is a weekly workshop designed to help individuals coping with one or more chronic pains learn to take daily responsibility for their care, improve skills, needed to manage their pain and work effectively with their doctor.

A new Zoom workshop begins January 20th and will be held every Thursday through February 24th from 5pm to 7pm. The six-week program is interactive, informative and entertaining and offers the same content as the face-to-face workshop.

Living Well is free and open to people with chronic pain and other pain-related health issues. Everyone can benefit from learning the skills to coordinate all of the activities needed to manage their health and help them lead full and active lives.

Attendees will need a computer, phone, or tablet to access Zoom. The device must also have a camera and microphone. A quiet place and a stable chair are also recommended for the beginning of the lesson.

To register or for more information, contact Dana M. DeJarnett at 304-264-1287, ext. 31814 or dana.dejarnett@wvumedicine.org. Registration closes on January 18th.

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Women’s Health

New Jersey Gov. Murphy signs bill preserving abortion in state law

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Thursday that will enshrine abortion rights in state law.

The US Supreme Court last December heard arguments on two cases in which some predict abortion rights will be escalated to the state level to decide.

“Regardless of whether the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade or not, New Jersey’s position in support of the right to reproductive autonomy will remain clear and unchanged,” Murphy said during a signing ceremony in Teaneck, New Jersey.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a Get Out The Vote rally October 28, 2021 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
(Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Murphy had pushed for the law, but it stalled in the Democrat-led legislature as the majority faced voters in November and then faltered from the loss of six seats in the assembly and a net loss of one in the Senate.

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The bill does not include a requirement for insurance coverage for abortion, which some advocates have campaigned for, but empowers state banking and insurance departments to study the issue and make new regulations.

A pro-life protester protests outside the Supreme Court building on the day of hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion law case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2021.

A pro-life protester protests outside the Supreme Court building on the day of hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion law case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2021.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The New Jersey bishops expressed “deep disappointment and concern” at the passage, saying in a statement that it “openly effaces the human and moral identity of the unborn child.”

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So far, only New Hampshire has passed new legislation since the Supreme Court hearing: The state will ban abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in danger.

An anti-abortion activist participates in a protest outside the Supreme Court building in Washington December 1, 2021 ahead of disputes in the Mississippi abortion law case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health.

An anti-abortion activist participates in a protest outside the Supreme Court building in Washington December 1, 2021 ahead of disputes in the Mississippi abortion law case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

But 12 states have enacted “trigger laws” aimed at restricting abortion immediately once the Supreme Court makes its decision and potentially overturns Roe, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Four other states — including Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia — have pre-Roe abortion laws that they would re-enforce, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a gender rights research group.

“What happened was that it all coalesced around the fact that the Supreme Court has a real chance to weaken or overturn abortion rights, and now it was time to introduce those legal protections,” he said Elizabeth Nash, State Policy Analyst at Guttmacher.

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Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have policies that specifically protect abortion rights, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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