(Image: Private Media)
(Image: Private Media)

Viruses have always had the potential to cause persistent, weird and transient symptoms even after the inflection point of being “on the mend”. Most of us have experienced a cough that lingered for weeks or post-viral fatigue, but following the arrival of COVID people started noting unusual post-viral phenomena like hair loss and purple toes.

Altered menstrual pattern

A recent article found that women may experience amplified premenstrual symptoms, as well as altered menstrual regularity and volume following COVID-19 infection. The researchers were able to assess only three studies with a cumulative sample size of 382 -- relatively small for a review article and that preempts the researchers’ conclusion that more research is needed.

This study does not establish a direct link between COVID-19 and menstrual disruption -- in particular, the size of the effect was not linked to disease severity. Menstrual patterns can be influenced and altered by the stress hormone cortisol, which itself can elevate due to anything from increased exercise to having a bad week. In most participants, the menstrual cycle returned to baseline within two months and would not be expected to have any long-term effects on fertility.