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Pandemic-induced stress might alter menstrual cycle: study

Pandemic-induced stress might alter menstrual cycle: study

New York: Research found out that women with high stress associated with the Covid-19 pandemic were twice as at risk of experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle, IANS reported.

There was also a trend towards heavier menstrual flow in the high-stress group, although this result was not statistically significant.

The study, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, stated that more than half of the subjects reported changes in menstrual cycle length, period duration, menstrual flow or increased spotting. These changes could induce economic and health consequences in women.

Lead author of the study Martina Anto-Ocrah, assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Pitt School of Medicine, said, "Early in the pandemic, it would come up anecdotally in conversations with girlfriends and other women that 'things have been kind of wacky with my period since the pandemic."

"Stress can manifest in women's bodies as changes in menstrual function, and we know that the pandemic has been an incredibly stressful time for many people."

The research team prepared a two-part survey that included a validated Covid-19 stress scale and self-reported menstrual cycle changes between March 2020 and May 2021. The subject people's age ranged from 18 to 45, and they were women who were not taking hormonal birth control.

Out of the 354 women who completed both parts of the survey, 10.5 per cent reported high stress.

Anto-Ocrah said, "During the pandemic, women's roles were redefined, and, as a society, we took steps back in terms of gender equity. Women often shouldered the brunt of childcare and household tasks, and they found changes to daily activities and the risk of COVID-19 infection more stressful than men."

Further, the researchers said that 12 per cent of participants reported changes in all four menstrual cycle features, which according to them, is alarming.

Longer, more frequent or heavier periods might burden women with extra expenses because of additional costs for feminine hygiene products, the study also inferred.

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TAGS:Pandemicstresswomenmenstrual cycle
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