Researchers Receive $300K NIH Grant to Study COVID-19 Vaccination and Menstruation.
Researchers Receive $300K NIH Grant to Study COVID Vaccination and Menstruation
Lauren Wise will lead a team that will examine the possible effects of COVID-19 vaccination on the menstrual cycles of PRESTO participants.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded one-year supplemental grants totaling $1.67 million to five institutions, including the School of Public Health, to explore potential links between COVID-19 vaccination and menstrual changes.
Lauren Wise, professor of epidemiology, and a team of researchers at SPH and the School of Medicine (MED), received $300,000 to examine the potential impact of COVID-19 vaccines on menstruation among participants in the SPH-based Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO).
PRESTO is an NIH-funded ongoing study that enrolls women trying to conceive, and follows them from preconception through six months after delivery. Since the study’s inception, women have reported data about their typical menstrual characteristics while not using hormones, and PRESTO questionnaires have been updated to include questions on COVID-19 infection, vaccination, and pandemic-related stressors. The questionnaires are available in English and Spanish.
For the study, Wise and colleagues will analyze menstruation data collected during up to six menstrual cycles from bimonthly online questionnaires and from Kindara.com, a menstrual charting app. The researchers will examine the association between COVID vaccination and cycle irregularity, cycle length, intensity of bleed, duration of bleed, intermenstrual spotting/bleeding, and pain associated with menses. Two sets of analyses will be performed: one that compares menstrual factors between vaccinated and unvaccinated participants, and one that compares menstrual factors among vaccinated participants before and after vaccination.
“Given PRESTO’s ongoing prospective data collection throughout the pandemic, recruitment of non-contracepting women from all 50 U.S. states, and prospective collection of menstrual data, the study is uniquely-positioned to analyze data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and menstruation and provide essential information to the scientific community and the public on vaccine safety,” says Wise, principal investigator of PRESTO.
Some women have reported experiencing irregular or skipped menstrual periods, bleeding that is heavier than usual, and other menstrual changes after receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Numerous factors—including COVID-19-related infection and stress, and lifestyle changes—can cause temporary changes in the menstrual cycle, which is regulated by complex interactions between the body’s tissues, cells and hormones.
The supplemental grants are funded by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health.
Other members of Wise’s team in the Department of Epidemiology include research assistant professor Amelia Wesselink; doctoral student Sharonda Lovett; senior data analyst Tanran Wang; post-doctoral associate Mary Willis; research assistant Martha Koenig; and professors Kenneth Rothman and Elizabeth Hatch. Rebecca Perkins, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology at MED, is also on the team.
How do I share my 18 year old daughters very recent experience on this subject? How the vaccine affected her period just days after getting her first shot?