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COVID-19: can COVID affect your period?

Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team

Updated on


  • COVID-19 can affect your period. 
  • Stress and anxiety due to the pandemic can affect your menstrual cycle.
  • The COVID vaccine can cause changes to your menstrual cycle. 
  • Changes in your period due to COVID-19 often resolve themselves quite quickly.

COVID has often been related to menstrual changes such as a late period, a missed period, and various changes in the length and volume of menstruation. This article will discuss in detail how COVID-19 affects your period and in what way COVID vaccination is related to changes in your menstrual cycle. 

Can COVID-19 affect your period?

Getting COVID may affect your period. Scientists studied the link between COVID and the menstrual cycle and concluded that getting infected with the coronavirus may result in temporary changes in the menstrual cycle. The link between menstrual irregularities and COVID may be explained via various mechanisms, including:1

  • The coronavirus infection has been shown to cause stress, which leads to disruptions in the production of ovulatory hormones and results in menstrual irregularities.  
  • The coronavirus has an affinity to bind to ACE-2 receptors, after which it can enter the cells and take over. These receptors are present in many different tissues all over the body, including the ovaries and the endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus. It's also this inner lining that thickens each month in preparation for an embryo. In case that there's no pregnancy, this inner lining sheds and exits the body via the vaginal canal. If the coronavirus binds to the ACE-2 receptors in the ovaries and the endometrium, the virus may affect these structures directly and cause menstrual irregularities.     

Besides an infection with COVID-19, other factors may affect your period. Some of them are:1

  • Extreme emotions
  • Hormonal changes
  • Gynecological changes
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Nutrition 
  • Genetics
  • Infection with other viruses or bacteria
  • Lifestyle changes 

This means that besides the actual infection with the coronavirus, COVID and menstrual cycle changes may also be explained by the stress, anxiety, and depression that the pandemic causes, as well as worrying about your infection and immobility due to your illness.

Studies also concluded that the link between COVID and menstrual cycle changes depends on the severity of your infection. Women who reported more severe symptoms of COVID-19 were also more likely to experience changes in their menstrual cycle after the infection. These changes often went combined with abdominal pain, joint and muscle pain and headaches. Women who have a milder case of COVID tend to notice fewer changes to their period.2

The COVID vaccine and your menstrual cycle

There’s not only a link between COVID-19 and your period but also between the COVID vaccine and your period. Several studies noted a link between receiving a COVID-vaccine and changes in the menstrual cycle. People who were vaccinated reported:1 3

  • Early menstruation (a shorter menstrual cycle)
  • Late menstruation (a delayed menstrual cycle)
  • Bleeding in between 2 periods
  • Heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Lighter menstrual bleeding
  • Shorter period
  • Longer period 

    The most common way that COVID shots affect your period is by temporarily increasing the length of your cycle. However, other changes to the menstrual cycle are reported frequently as well. These menstrual cycle changes are similar across different types of vaccines.4

How long do menstrual changes persist after COVID infection?

Slight changes in menstruation after COVID-19 or COVID vaccination usually resolve within the next cycle. These changes are typically not a cause for concern. If your symptoms worry you or do not resolve, consult your healthcare provider for more information and advice.5

The effect of COVID treatment on your period

Different COVID treatments are available, depending on your risk profile and the severity of your symptoms. If you’ve been hospitalized due to your COVID-19 infection, then it may be that you’ve been treated with dexamethasone, which is a corticosteroid drug that is also related to menstrual irregularities. If you have any doubts regarding your COVID treatment, then it’s best to contact your healthcare provider for more information.6

Wrapping up

COVID-19 can affect your period in multiple ways. The infection, the stress and anxiety related to it, and vaccination may cause changes in your menstrual cycle. Luckily, these changes usually do not last long and are not a cause for concern in most cases.  


Q: How does COVID affect your period? 
A: COVID can affect your period by disrupting your hormonal system or binding to ACE-2 receptors in the ovaries or the endometrium. Stress caused by COVID-19 can also be an essential factor for menstrual changes. 

Q: How long can COVID affect your period? 
A: The changes in your menstrual cycle usually only last for one cycle, after which they usually return to normal. If your symptoms persist, then it’s recommended to consult your healthcare provider. 

Q: Is it normal if I have COVID that my period is late?  
A: COVID can cause a number of changes to the menstrual cycle, such as a late period, but also an early period, bleeding in between periods, heavier or lighter menstrual bleeding and a shorter or a longer period.