Can Long COVID Mess With Your Menstrual Cycle?
COVID-19 is not just an illness of the lungs. Here's how it can impact your menstrual cycle.
Over the past few months there have been an increase in the number of people worldwide who are experiencing a prolonged state of ill health due to long COVID.
Long COVID is a term used to describe the prolonged effect on patients’ health even after recovering and testing negative.
General long-COVID symptoms include extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, even difficulty in concentrating and remembering things, and many others.
Some women have noticed changes in their menstrual cycle as a part of long-Covid. Menstrual health plays a vital role in the well-being of a woman.
Any disturbance in menstruation concerns a women and becomes a reason for her to stress and compromise her quality of life.
Some Menstrual Health Symptoms After Long COVID
From a disturbed cycle, menstrual pain, missed or skipped periods to heavy periods, have been noted to be some of the commonly associated menstrual disturbances after COVID-19. Some women have observed increased blood clotting in the menstrual flow.
While small menstrual clots are usually not of concern but excessive bleeding with big clots can lead to problems like anemia.
These emerging side effects need attention to avoid their adverse consequences. Another symptom of long COVID can be an aggravated Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).
COVID-19 is a disease that has mental and physical repercussions. The stress of pandemic can affect menstrual health. In addition, weight gain is a common problem due to changes in lifestyle and daily routines during the pandemic.
Both stress and weight gain can affect periods, and can lead to missed periods, longer bleeding time or delayed periods.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Menstruation Cycle
By leading a sedentary lifestyle there can be various health related problems, an irregular menstrual cycle can be one of them. Here are some tips that can help you in maintaining a healthy menstruation cycle.
A balanced sleep cycle
For leading a healthy lifestyle a minimum of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is necessary.
Proper dietary intake
Obesity which results in hormonal imbalance is strongly linked with menstrual disturbances.
The primary cause of obesity is unhealthy eating. Unhealthy eating does not only include eating junk but also includes skipping meals, consuming food that doesn’t suffice daily nutritional intake and overeating.
Hence, to overcome this healthy eating at regular intervals is recommended.
Some physical exercise
Amidst the pandemic, a sedentary lifestyle along with an increased screen time is emerging to be one of the major causes for obesity.
The lack of physical exercise and no work-out regime is further increasing problems related to hormonal imbalance.
Therefore, indulging yourself in some physical exercise for at least 30-45 minutes a day can lead to an overall healthy well-being.
To summarize, there are many adverse effects that persist or arise after recovery from COVID-19.
They are enough to impact the general health and the quality of life. Any changes in menses or pre-menstrual symptoms should be addressed and managed properly.
A good diet and nutrition, regular excise regime and a timely consultation with the doctor can help in overcoming these problems.
(Dr Ranjana Sharma, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi)
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