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Can getting covid-19 really have an impact on your menstrual cycle?

Published on:28 December 2020, 14:16pm IST
No two periods are the same. But if there is one thing which is common in most women nowadays, it’s how covid-19 is messing with our menstrual cycles.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Irregular periods? You can blame it on covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Since the time covid-19 made an appearance in our lives, everything has turned topsy-turvy. Whatever happens to our body is somehow related to the virus—and no, we aren’t being paranoid. So, we thought if the pandemic is impacting every area of our lives, then maybe it can also affect the way we bleed? Well, there are a lot of theories around covid-19 and periods, but we are looking for a concrete answer.

That’s why we consulted a top ob-gyn from Apollo Spectra Hospital Mumbai to understand the premise. So, let’s read what Dr Jyoti Kulkarni has to say. 

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Dr Kulkarni has been the seeing the effects of covid-19 on menstruation in her patients

“Doctor I am bleeding heavily with clots,’ said 46-year-old Smita, one of my regular patients, who literally rushed into my cabin,” shares Dr Kulkarni. 

She adds, “Her cycles have been quite regular, since the beginning. I put her on regular non-hormonal antifibrinolytics and platelet function enhancing medications, but there was no response. We tried hormonal medicines, but they weren’t successful either.”

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After a series of investigations, it was found that her blood parameters were normal, except for her platelet count which was 1.6 lakhs. Other hormonal causes were ruled out and the sonography was also normal. This time we planned for an endometrial biopsy, but before that she tested positive for covid-19. We could not go ahead with the procedure immediately, but it definitely raised a question in my mind, “Can a covid-19 infection lead to heavy uterine bleeding?,” shares the doctor.

“Covid-19 patients commonly suffer from flu-like symptoms and respiratory issues. However, we have also seen some bizarre incidents that have triggered gastroenteritis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, stroke and visual disturbances due to retinal blood flow occlusion,” says Dr Kulkarni.

Menstruation is actually a response to the hormonal orchestra of the human body. It also indicates the well-being and health of one’s reproductive systems. Nature has taken great care of the uterus and the ovaries by giving us plenty of collateral blood supply in the pelvic region, and therefore we usually do not come across any long-term effects of thromboembolic events that cause menstrual disturbances. Hence, in my opinion, backed by references and general observation, a covid-19 infection will not cause disturbances in the monthly menstrual cycle,” explains Dr Kulkarni. 

But there’s another school of thought. Psychologists find a link between stress and periods

According to them, when you are stressed or way too anxious, then there is a change in your hormonal levels. This hormonal imbalance has a dire impact on the menstrual cycle. Due to this, either your periods can go MIA or can become irregular.

In fact, due to stress you can even get your periods twice in a month.

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“It majorly happens with young women nowadays. Due to their hectic work lives, their hormones go for a toss. Plus, unhealthy habits make their case worse leading to two periods in a month. But this is only normal when it happens once or twice. If it is frequent, then they must go and talk to their doctor,” says Dr Bilsi Mittal, a gynaecologist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai.

So, if this pandemic is making you stressed all the time, then there is a possibility of your periods going haywire.

To conclude, we would like to say that in case your chumming cycle has become haywire, amid the pandemic, then stress can be the only reason and the virus has nothing to do with it. 

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.