KEY POINTS

  • A woman from New York City reported experiencing painful menstrual cramps after getting the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Experts explained that this is an isolated incident and that side effects are common in any vaccine
  • Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include fatigue, nausea, headaches and fever

Abigail, a 29-year-old from New York City, reported experiencing “stupidly painful, debilitating” menstrual cramps after getting vaccinated aginst COVID-19. Although there is currently no evidence to link the menstrual pain she felt to the COVID-19 vaccine, Abigail believes that the Pfizer-BioNTech shot was what triggered her cramps.

Shortly after getting inoculated with her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Abigail started experiencing the usual side effects of the shot. The body aches, fatigue and other effects came as no surprise for her.

It was when she felt painful menstrual cramps, however, when she started to think about the adverse effects the vaccine could have on women and their menstrual cycles, TIME reported.

“There’s no conclusive evidence right now because there really hasn’t been that much research,” nurse practitioner Susan Hook told NBC2 on the issue of whether the COVID-19 vaccine could cause changes in women's menstrual cycle.

Hook explained that the changes in the menstrual cycle are most likely temporary and pose no danger. Small side effects such as this should not discourage women from getting vaccinated.

“Your body is reacting to something foreign, whether it be a physically foreign thing like a vaccine or an illness or foreign stressors like worry and anxiety, depression, those kinds of things,” Hook explained.

The nurse then added that Abigail's case is likely an isolated incident.

Dr. Stanley Perlman shared the same sentiment. Dr. Perlman is a professor at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine and a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee.

According to the doctor, side effects are a standard part of vaccination and offer a good sign that the body is mounting an immune response. He then noted that not everything that happens post-vaccination is a direct result of the vaccine.

Health experts advise women to monitor their symptoms and consult their doctor if the side effects last for more than a month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a list of common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. The list included pain, redness and swelling around the area where the shot was injected. Other side effects were fatigue, fever, headaches and nausea.

Cotes-James says it took her years to realise the painful symptoms she was experiencing during her period were actually an allergic reaction to the viscose and polyester found in some sanitary pads and tampons Cotes-James says it took her years to realise the painful symptoms she was experiencing during her period were actually an allergic reaction to the viscose and polyester found in some sanitary pads and tampons Photo: AFP / Veronica SANCHIS BENCOMO