The world has not been the same after Covid-19. It left an impact on everybody’s lives- mentally and physically. And one of the more covert but noticeable ways it has left its imprint on women’s health is by affecting their periods.
Periods are caused by the pituitary gland, which triggers the production and regulation of oestrogen and progesterone. Other factors that play into the smooth-functioning of our menstrual cycle are our everyday health, our mental well-being and our lifestyles. And the pandemic disrupted all of them. There are two distinctive ways in which women’s periods have been affected by the pandemic.
1. Women who did not get Covid but were still subject to the stresses of the time. Barring some, the majority of women experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle. There were reportedly missed periods, unusual patterns of flow as well as irregularity in cycles. The reasons have been varied. Stress was a dominant factor. There was a lot of worry regarding people’s health, the economy and the general uncertainty of the changing times.
Another reason was the lifestyle. People started adapting to working from home. Women have always been regarded as the primary caregivers and the WFH system led to a gradual erosion of the demarcation between their personal and professional lives. A lot of the children were confined to their homes and school happened through a laptop or phone screen. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. Working women often have the help of nannies or relatives and friends to take care of their children when they are at work. But the pandemic meant that these women had to take on the entirety of the childcare.
This meant a rise in stress levels, which was bound to affect their health. This is just one example. A lot of people also observed significant weight gain during the pandemic, and such rapid fluctuations invariably affect women’s period health.
In these instances, their effect on the menstrual cycle is manageable.
2. Women who got Covid have seen effects of a higher severity, and by that, it means that the irregularities have lasted for a longer duration of time. Most of the research and reports are anecdotal. But it can be safely derived from the sheer volume of them that Covid seems to have an impact on women’s menstrual cycles. As with the previous point, women have reported missed periods, irregular cycles and a difference in the pattern of flow. But these changes are more often than not, reversible. With some good diet and exercise, it is possible to reset the menstrual cycle back to normal. In other cases, it is advisable to visit the gynaecologist, and seek their help. In fact, it is preferable to talk to them regardless, to clear any doubts you may have or to just understand the possible impact of the disease on the human body.
In the whole discussion of the effect of Covid on women’s menstrual cycles, one cannot ignore the reported cases of the impact of the Covid vaccine as well. People have found menstrual cycle irregularities after taking the prescribed doses. It is important to remember that this might be normal, and is mostly reversible. Therefore, if you notice any of these, we would advise you to not panic and instead, consult a gynaecologist immediately to know your next move that would be most suited to your health.