Objective: To describe the characteristics of people who experience changes to their menstrual cycle after COVID-19 vaccination. Design: Longitudinal study. Patient(s): We recruited a volunteer sample with and without a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection who enrolled in the Arizona COVID-19 Cohort (CoVHORT) study and participated in a reproductive sub-cohort who were pre-menopausal, not pregnant, and had received a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 (n = 545). Exposure(s): Demographic and reproductive characteristics were collected via self-reports. Main Outcome Measure(s): Information on self-reported changes in the menstrual cycle after COVID-19 vaccination was collected from May 2021 to December 2021. We looked at demographic and reproductive characteristics as predictors of menstrual cycle change. Result(s): The majority of our vaccinated sample received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (58%), and were 26-35 years old (51%), non-Hispanic (84%), and White (88%). Approximately 25% of vaccinated participants reported a change in their menstrual cycle after vaccination; the majority reported changes after their second dose (56%) as compared with their first (18%) and third (14%) doses. The most commonly reported changes were irregular menstruation (43%), increased premenstrual symptoms (34%), increased menstrual pain or cramps (30%), and abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding (31%). High self-reported perceived stress levels compared with low perceived stress (OR, 2.22; 95% CI 1.12-4.37) and greater body mass index (OR, 1.04; 95% CI 1.00-1.07) were associated with greater odds of experiencing the menstrual cycle changes after the vaccination. Participants having a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection were less likely to report changes in their menstrual cycle after vaccination compared with the participants with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR, 0.58; 95% CI 0.32-1.04). Conclusion(s): Among vaccinated participants, approximately 25% of them reported predominantly temporary changes in the menstrual cycle, however, we are unable to determine whether these changes are due to normal cycle variability. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for everyone, including pregnant people and people trying to conceive; hence, these findings should not discourage vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • COVID-19 vaccination
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • menstrual cycle
  • menstrual regularity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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