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Stress From COVID-19 Impacts Menstrual Cycles And Symptoms

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S  2021 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS  

More than one-third of 12,300 respondents to a survey said they experienced changes in their menstrual cycle and/or changes in menstrual symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also included a Perceived Stress Scale to assess the impact of stress on the respondents in relation to the changes in menstrual symptoms. 

According to the researchers, who reported their findings at the ASRM 2021 Scientific Congress, respondents who reported changes in their menstrual cycle or symptoms tended to have slightly higher stress scores. Also, the stress levels among all respondents were notably higher than pre-pandemic benchmarks.

The most commonly reported changes were cycles starting early or late (87%), stronger symptoms during menstruation including low back pain and cramping (29%), and heavier bleeding during periods (27%).

“A disruption in menstrual patterns due to stress caused by the pandemic can be especially frustrating for women who are trying to conceive,” said Ruben Alvero, M.D., President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. “This study will raise awareness of the relationship between stress caused by the pandemic and menstrual irregularities, so that reproductive medicine physicians and their patients can discuss strategies to mitigate the impact on fertility treatments.”

The researchers administered the survey between March 2020 and April 2021 using Ovia Health’s Fertility mobile application in the United States.

O-166, S. Malloy et al, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERCEIVED STRESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND MENSTRUAL CYCLES AND SYMPTOMS

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