The impact of the COVID-19 vaccination and infection on the menstrual cycle. The femSense survey.

two women are lookng at a cycle tracker app, graphics of a virus are at the side

The results of the femSense survey on COVID-19 and the menstrual cycle are here 🥳

The keen interest on social media and the huge response to our survey has shown us how concerned women are about this issue. Their support of our survey has given us valuable insights into the impact of COVID-19 on women’s cycles – both the vaccine and the infection.

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Numerous studies show that the human immune system is strongly influenced by gender. Recent studies have already dealt with gender-specific immune reactions to COVID-19. We wanted to know whether femSense users have noticed any changes in their menstrual cycle or periods in the weeks and months after an illness or vaccination. This is what our femSense users experienced.

Age has a big impact on fertility

The survey was extremely short - most of the participants finished after 2 minutes - and it was anonymous. We were interested in the approximate age of the respondents beforehand, because age has a big impact on fertility. The majority of our survey participants were aged between 31 and 40 - slightly above the actual average age of our femSense users, which is 25 to 34.

Effects of COVID-19 vaccination and infection on cycle length

Almost half of all 300 survey participants reported no change in their cycle length - whether after contracting the COVID-19 virus or after vaccination. Of those who said they had noticed a change the majority reported a longer cycle, and the minority reported a shorter cycle. There was no major difference in the response between those who had the infection and those who were vaccinated.

Survey graphic. Comparison of cycle changes after covid recovery and vaccination

Effects of COVID-19 vaccination and infection on a woman’s period

More than half of all participants felt that they did not notice any changes in their periods - whether after contracting the COVID-19 virus or after vaccination. Of those who reported noticing a change most observed their period to be heavier rather than lighter. However, more women (11.4%) reported missing a period after an infection than after the vaccination - there it was “only” 5.3%.

Survey graphic. Comparison of period changes after covid recovery and vaccination

Changes in cycle-related symptoms

While many women may not have noticed any effects on cycle length or periods, other cycle-related changes were observed. The clear “winners” in this category were more severe mood swings as well as increased PMS and menstrual pain - here too, recovered, and vaccinated women reported the symptoms to a similar degree. A marked difference can be seen however in the indication of skin problems - about one fifth ticked “skin problems after vaccination”, while only one tenth ticked “skin problems after infection”.

Survey graphic. Comparison of cycle related symptom changes after covid recovery and vaccination

Thank you for your personal responses, experiences & feedback!

At the end of our short survey, we offered participants the opportunity to share a few words on the topic. We received a handful of heart-breaking messages about miscarriages - which the respondents linked to their illness or vaccination. It is a fact that expectant mothers are in the COVID-19 high risk category - but there is absolutely no evidence that the vaccination can make them infertile, which a few of our participants were afraid of.

In addition to our survey responses, we also had many lovely words of thanks in our mailbox: “Thank you for taking on this challenging topic” was one of them. WE say thank you, thank you for your time, for taking part and for your very personal answers!

Your femSense Team