MRC Centre for Reproductive Health
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Contributions to important women’s health articles

CRH’s Dr Jackie Maybin contributes to important women’s health articles

Read Dr Jackie Maybin’s views on the importance of improving women’s health for all of society, in this Wellbeing of Women blog article:

https://www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk/news/womens-health-why-good-enough-isnt-good-enough

Dr Maybin is the expert in this informative and insightful article in student newspaper, The Tab, which discusses the impact the Covid-19 vaccine may have on menstruation:

https://thetab.com/uk/2021/06/23/we-asked-a-gynaecologist-why-covid19-vaccine-affects-periods-211624

Dr Jacqueline Maybin, Senior Research Fellow and Consultant Gynaecologist at CRH, was asked why some people’s periods are being disrupted by the vaccine. She said: “There have been lots of anecdotal reports of people with menstrual disturbance following Covid-19 vaccination, including changes in frequency, duration, regularity and volume of menstruation.

Dr Jackie Maybin

“In the UK, the MHRA have had approximately 4,000 reports of menstrual disturbance via their yellow card reporting system, although actual numbers may be larger due to a lack of awareness of this scheme. Data are also being collected by Dr Kate Clancy at the University of Illinois via a Twitter-based survey.

“At this stage, it is difficult to be certain regarding the mechanisms causing these effects. It may differ from person to person. The brain, ovaries and womb interact to control the menstrual cycle. So, menstrual disturbance may be due to effects on the part of the brain that controls the reproductive hormones, effects on the ovaries or effects directly on the lining of the womb (which is what is shed during a period).

“In times of stress, the female system is designed to temporarily down-regulate to prevent against pregnancy and conserve energy. This brain-level effect may explain some of the changes in menstruation observed during the pandemic or after vaccination.

“The Covid-19 vaccination itself is designed to initiate an immune response in the body to protect against future Covid-19 infection. The resulting inflammation may transiently affect the ovaries, altering their hormone production over one or two cycles. The inflammation may also potentially alter how the womb lining breaks down, causing heavier periods. These effects could lead to temporary changes in menstrual symptoms that should spontaneously resolve.

“It is important to emphasise that any effects of the vaccine are likely to be short lived and much less severe than those associated with Covid-19 infection, which has also been linked with menstrual disturbance. Women who are called for the vaccine shouldn’t be deterred from attending.”

If you would like to access the Yellow Card reporting site to report any Covid-19 vaccine side effects, including a change in your menstrual cycle, please click here.