In light of the various queries and concerns that have come to light regarding period changes after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr Chiara Frendo-Balzan, our resident Gynaecologist has answered some frequently asked questions in order to better support you with your queries. She also addressed concerns in relation to pregnancy.
1. Is it normal that my period is late / early / heavier?
A lot of patients have recorded that there is a late period. The COVID-19 vaccine creates a huge stress response in the body in order to produce antibodies. Since the body is under a significant amount of stress we are seeing an imbalance in hormones. This can result in late periods, missed periods, early periods and more painful periods.
More information about this can be found on this video.
2. Can you take the vaccine if you are on your period?
Yes you can take your vaccine if you are on your period. You may realise that your period stops or becomes heavier. You may also notice no changes at all, it varies from person to person. You may also realise that you will see a difference in your next period as discussed in the first question.
3. I am on the pill. Will the vaccine affect my period? Is there a risk for thrombosis?
Patients have noticed changes in their menstrual cycle even if they are on the pill, this is because of the sudden stress placed on the body.
When it comes to the risk of thrombosis, there is always a higher risk of thrombosis in women who take the pill versus those who do not take the pill. I recommend that you do not stop the pill, as when restarting the pill you are putting yourself at more risk of thrombosis. I recommend staying hydrated and mobilized.
4. Can you take the vaccine if you are pregnant? What about breastfeeding?
At the moment it is not recommended in Malta to take the vaccine if you are pregnant, although other countries have started vaccinating pregnant women. If you are pregnant you will be vaccinated after pregnancy. I encourage you to be aware of these normal and expected changes in the menstrual cycle.
As far as we know the vaccine is safe for breastfeeding and does not go to your baby. It only triggers an immune response in the mother’s body.
5. Can you take the vaccine if you are trying to get pregnant?
You can take the vaccine if you are trying to get pregnant. Thus far research indicates that the vaccine does not affect fertility; we do not however have long term data regarding this in Malta.
6. Can you take the vaccine if you are undergoing IVF treatment?
Patients who are undergoing IVF treatment or about to undergo treatment are still recommended to take the vaccine. It is safer for you to have side-effects of the vaccine than to have unpredictable effects of COVID-19 if you were to contract it, which could indeed result in fertility complications.
7. Do different vaccines have different side effects on the body, or risks for pregnant persons?
According to the emerging data from day to day, the different vaccines are all similar in their immune response.
8. How do I keep myself from worrying?
- If your period changes persist after a month or two, then it is best to speak to your gynaecologist.
- As with any new medication that you take, the vaccine is the same, if you suffer from side effects you can speak to your GP for advice and it is important to report side-effects and thus further testing may be needed.
Vaccination is a free choice. The aim of this article is to help you in making your decision. It is true that this is not a tried and tested vaccine like traditional vaccines that have been around for many years, but the technology that the vaccine uses has been around for quite a while and it is used in other treatment modalities in medicine and it is deemed a safe treatment.
N.B. These responses are correct on 14.06.2021 at 9:00, and are subject to updates.
Dr Chiara Frendo Balzan is a Gynaecology and Women’s Health Doctor within the Willingness Team and Sex Clinic Malta. Together with Obstetrics and Gynaecology she is specialised in the field of contraception, family planning and reproductive health.