When women started reporting longer periods and heavier-than-normal bleeding after getting Covid vaccines last year, there was little data to back it up.
Although they made up around half the participants in Covid vaccine trials, women were not asked about any menstrual changes as part of that process. Since then, several studies have revealed that Covid vaccines can indeed induce short-term changes in menstrual cycles.
So a growing chorus of researchers is calling for further study of vaccines’ effects on menstruation. Collecting this type of data during the Covid vaccine trials, they say, could have prevented distress among those who experienced abnormal changes to their cycles and assuaged fears about the shots at a time when misinformation abounded.
“Because we had no data and people weren’t paying attention to it, individuals who started reporting it just got blown off. People feel like they were gaslighted around coming in and having these concerns,” said Alison Edelman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University.