The Surprising Effect COVID-19 Can Have On Your Period

COVID-19 sure has had a huge impact on how we view the everyday. Who would have guessed wearing pajama bottoms for a work meeting on Zoom or bumping elbows as a greeting would have become the new normal? Yes, it certainly has us adapting to a new way of living, and if you think the virus couldn't possibly be more intrusive to your daily life, then think again. COVID-19 may even be impacting your menstrual cycle.

Without even having contracted the coronavirus, you could still be facing menstrual disruptions. According to Everyday Health, the length, flow, and time you get your period can be affected during times of high stress. And a worldwide pandemic can absolutely be categorized as a time of high stress. But why can your period get out of whack during times of stress if it was stable before? Leena Nathan, M.D., an OBGYN at UCLA Health tells Allure it can be blamed on our biology. "When your body is in a time of stress, it's really not the best time to get pregnant, so it's shutting down," she explains.

What happens to your cycle if you test positive for COVID-19

There appears to be no escaping the possible effects COVID-19 has on our menstrual cycles. We know it can impact our cycle even without contracting the virus, but it can also be affected if we do test positive. Tara Shirazian, M.D., the director of Global Women's Health and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Health in New York City tells Everyday Health what women may come to encounter. "What we can say about COVID-19 and its effects on the menstrual cycle is comparable to what we can say about other viral infections and prolonged periods of stress — menstrual disruptions are likely to occur," she states.

And the effects she's referring to are all over the period map. Sam, 26, shares with Bustle what her period was like after contracting the coronavirus. "It's almost like ... getting your period for the first time again, because it just hits differently and not on any sort of schedule," she describes.

Any serious infection can mess with our menstrual cycles

Some experts do want to note that it's unlikely COVID-19 would impact your period any differently than other illnesses would. Mitchell Kramer, M.D., chair of obstetrics and gynecology of Huntington Hospital in New York explains to Bustle, "There is nothing in the literature at this point that says these things are specific to COVID, but we see this in patients with severe influenza, viral meningitis, bacterial sepsis."  And he adds that, "Any serious infection that inflames the organs can impact the character of the menstrual cycle."

If you are concerned over your missed period or are experiencing a disrupted cycle, it may be due to stress or it could be an after-effect of having COVID-19. While it is likely something that will regulate over time, Dr. Shirazian tells Everyday Health it may be a good idea to contact your doctor or OBGYN. Stressing over your period is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but on a positive note, if you are being hit extra hard with period symptoms, at least you can wear those pajama bottoms all day to stay comfortable.