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'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika* 

In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.
A recent study conducted by 6 AIIMS reported that the corona vaccine worsened menstrual cycle and caused side effects including increase/decrease in bleeding, and new symptoms like headache, body weakness, aches etc. This new research according to this news has been accepted by the World Health Organisation as side effects of the covid vaccine. A second phase of the research will assess the long-term side effects.
However, issues with menstrual irregularities have been raised right after the vaccine rollout in 2021 and discussed in small circles, forums, chat rooms and social media but most of the concerns have been dismissed as minor or rare or temporary as acknowledging these as side effects would lead to vaccine hesitancy. It was deliberately hidden that clinical trials of the covid 19 vaccines did not collect information regarding menstrual cycles.
One of the surveys done in India showed that 15 women out of 25 women experienced changes in their menstrual cycles after taking the vaccine. Change in cycles was not the only issue, there were issues with heavy bleeding, delay in cycle and other irregularities reported in India and around the world. Some of the women were diagnosed with PCOS and any vaccine connection was dismissed. Other reasons attributed to the irregularities were stress and psychological reasons. Many menopausal women also spoke about heavy bleeding after the vaccinations.
Reports from different countries, social media handles showed that the Covid vaccines triggered auto immune diseases like Graves’ disease besides others.
The U.K. Yellow Card program reported reactions involving reproductive systems as well as “spontaneous abortions” (miscarriages), premature labour, and stillbirths in association with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The reports include:
  • cases of abnormal uterine bleeding
  • reports of unusual breast pain and swelling
  • absent or delayed menstruation
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • cases of vaginal haemorrhaging
  • reports of genital swelling, lesions, rashes or ulcerations
  • cases of postmenopausal haemorrhaging
  • cases of premature or “artificial” menopause

Miscarriages/ abortions

There were enough evidences to suggest that vaccines impacted the reproductive health of women. An analysis had estimated the number of spontaneous abortions caused by the COVID vaccines.
In India however the Government encouraged pregnant and lactating women to get vaccinated while reports of miscarriages were common place and while the fact sheet of the vaccine company provided guidelines against vaccination for pregnant and lactating mother.
An important point to note is that he government of India introduced special maternity leave of 60 days in Sep 2022 for still birth or loss of newborn, after the Dept of Personal & Training received several references and queries requesting for a clarification pertaining to grant of leave. Was there a covid vaccination connection increase in still births is a question to be asked.
Even while gynaecologists continued to dismiss the concerns, NIH and others funded studies to assess potential effects of covid vaccination on the menstrual health of women and spelled out huge risks.
Even in India, there were studies done which showed that both Covishield and Covaxin caused menstrual disturbances.
Just like how some side effects of covid vaccines are getting disclosed one by one, it may not be far when mainstream reports about long term side effects of the covid vaccine on women’s menstrual cycle, reproductive health, the impact on the woman’s fertility and the impact on the unborn or the new born.
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*Digital marketing and content management professional with keen interest in public health policies

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