Study Shows That Women Infected With SARS-CoV-2 Will Most Likely Have Prolonged Menstrual Cycles And Decreased Menstrual Volume!
A new systematic review by researchers from the University of Ljubljana-Slovenia, University of Palermo-Italy and the Ljubljana Medical Center-Slovenia has shown that SARS-CoV-2 infections do affect the menstrual cycle and that most women (real women and not transgenders please!) with COVID-19 are likely to experience prolonged menstrual cycles and decreased menstrual volume!
The study findings contradict many previous opinions by stupid Western experts from the UK and US, and also certain Medical News
media and fact-checkers articles that claimed that the menstrual cycle was not affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The meta-analysis study covered already published research on the correlation between SARS-CoV-2 infection and menstrual cycle changes.
The study team conducted a systematic literature search on the Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Three studies were finally included in the review.
The findings of the studies indicate changes in menstrual volume and changes in menstrual cycle length as consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection; the latter was also the most common menstrual irregularity reported by the included studies.
It was found that women have mainly reported decreased menstrual volume and a prolonged cycle. The findings also indicate that the severity of COVID-19 does not play a role in menstrual cycle changes.
The study team did however stress that a more detailed study is required on defining the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the menstrual cycle.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed Journal of Clinical Medicine as a systematic review. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/11/13/3800
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has significantly affected human lives. There has been extensive research about COVID-19 and its effects on respiratory, nervous, and circulatory systems; however, its impact on the reproductive system is relatively less known.
Past research observed a correlation between viral infections and changes in the female reproductive system. https://journals.lww.com/jaids/fulltext/1996/08150/menstrual_function_in_human_immunodeficiency.8.aspx
One study revealed that the initial phase of infection with hepatitis B (HBV) or C virus (HCV) was characterized by prolonged, heavy menstruation that gradually became short and infrequent. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09513590.2016.1232780
Despite the fact that substantial anecdotal reports exist about the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the female reproductive system and the changes in menstruat
ion, these data are inadequate to draw definitive conclusions.
The study team performed a systematic review to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on the menstrual cycle. Medline, Cochrane library, and Scopus databases were systematically searched. The terms ‘menstrual cycle’ and ‘virus diseases’ were used to search across medical subject headings in Medline.
For all other databases, the search terms across all fields were ‘menstrual cycle’ and ‘COVID-19/COVID.’ They considered articles published during 2020–22 and written in English. Two reviewers independently screened titles/abstracts for relevant studies. After the full-text screening, data on the study characteristics and outcomes were extracted. Studies were included if they described at least one menstrual feature among participants with a history of COVID-19.
For the review, menstrual cycle features include the following: menstrual cycle length, length and volume of menstruation, regularity, abnormal bleeding/spotting between regular menstrual periods, and the frequency and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Articles that described the effect of therapy, vaccination, lifestyle changes, or pandemic-related stress were excluded. Only research studies were included regardless of the study design.
In the initial stage, a total of 444 articles were identified however only 424 were screened at the title/abstract level after removing duplicates.
Upon various stages of reviewing, three papers were included in the systematic review. Two were cross-sectional studies, and one was a cohort study. One cross-sectional study examined the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on changes in sex hormones and the menstrual cycle in infected women of child-bearing age.
In one study, about 237 adult women aged 18 to 45 who were not lactating/pregnant without menstrual irregularities in the six months before infection were included. Ninety patients were severe COVID-19 cases, and the remaining had mild disease.
The findings showed that nearly 20% of the participants had a significant decrease in menstrual volume with no significant differences between mild and severe cases.
Importantly, one-fifth reported prolonged menstrual cycles relative to their pre-infection menstrual cycle duration.
Form a statistics perspective, there were no significant changes in menstrual irregularities between severe and mild COVID-19 patients.
However, in contrast, menstrual cycle duration and menstrual volume significantly differed between infected women and controls. This study suggested that menstrual cycle changes were transient.
In another cross-sectional study that was conducted in January-March, 2020 in China. It assessed the association between ovarian function and COVID-19. This study included 78 women aged 50 years or lower with COVID-19.
Study participants were asked about menstrual cycle information for the past three months.
About 22% of cases were severely ill, 48% reported recent mental disorder (depression/anxiety), 36% underwent gynecological surgery, and 12% had a history of benign gynecological disease. Severe COVID-19 patients exhibited higher amenorrhea, irregular periods, menstrual volume, and pain than non-severe cases, albeit the differences were insignificant.
The only cohort study reviewed was a part of an ongoing Arizona CoVHORT study.
For that study, Investigators administered surveys on COVID-19 symptomology every six weeks. It included 127 COVID-19 patients aged 18-45 who were not pregnant at the time of inclusion nor had been recently pregnant. Among these, 20 patients reported menstrual cycle changes. The median number duration between the positive test and the last reported menstrual change was 57.5 days.
It was found that the common changes include irregular menstruation, infrequent menstruation, and increased premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Patients with menstrual cycle changes were more likely to experience more COVID-19 symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, and body aches/pains. Notably, the researchers could not adjust for potential confounders, and the study did not provide information about the duration of menstrual changes.
In all, this current systematic review identified prolonged menstrual cycle and decreased menstrual volume resulting from COVID-19. It noted that disease severity did not significantly affect menstrual cycle changes.
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