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Who do we believe? The science or the conspiracy theorists? At the best of times, fertility and pregnancy are challenging however add Covid and the decision whether to vaccinate along with conspiracy theories circulating on social media and it is a recipe for confusion, added stress and anxiety, much of which could be avoided.


Currently, Drs are actively encouraging vaccine uptake, believing Covid itself can put a pregnancy at risk. We really need conspiracy theories to be challenged and women and people need to know the facts. You can read the Royal College of Obstetrician's and Gynaecologist's latest update on Vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding here [1]

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health/covid-19-vaccines-and-pregnancy/covid-19-vaccines-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding/


A BBC news report has discovered that some have “cherry-picked figures” and used them to infer mass accumulation of the vaccine in the ovaries and that the study was “leaked” while in fact it was available publicly online. Another discovery was reports of increased numbers of miscarriage post-vaccination. On closer examination, this was based on figures reported to MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme which is a voluntary reporting system which may not necessarily indicate that the vaccine was a direct cause of said miscarriage.[2]


In the US, a study has been carried out on the miscarriage rate in the vaccinated population and it found that the rate matches the general population average. While this is somewhat reassuring, we still need more large scale longitudinal studies and those that examine the impact of early pregnancy vaccination[3]


So where does this leave us? Maybe it’s time to have more regulation of these social media claims or ensure that robust science is the mainstay of health claims. Can science speak louder? For those trying to decide whether to get vaccinated you must arm yourself with as much reliable information as possible as at the end of the day the decision is yours but undoubtedly this little game of cat and mouse further complicates matters.


© PCOS Vitality

DISCLAIMER: Not medical advice. We do not provide medical advice. For information purposes only. We do not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. Information accurate at time of press.


REFERENCES


[1] COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy, (n.d.). https://www.rcog.org.uk/covid-vaccine (accessed April 18, 2021).

[2] Covid vaccine: Fertility and miscarriage claims fact-checked - BBC News, (n.d.). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57552527 (accessed August 11, 2021).

[3] S. TT, K. SY, M. TR, M. PL, O. T, P. L, M. PL, O. CK, L. R, C. KT, E. SR, B. VK, S. AN, G. CJ, L. C, Z. BC, A. M, M.-J. A, M. SW, G. JM, M.-D. DM, Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons, N. Engl. J. Med. 384 (2021) 2273–2282. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMOA2104983.

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Anecdotally many people have reported changes to their periods. Some people have experienced a break while others have had heavier menstrual bleeding. This is not entirely surprising as the womb lining is, after all, part of our immune system. We must stress however that it has been reported that any side effects are thought to be temporary but do we really know yet?


A recent press release by the European Medicines Agency gives an update on safety issues regarding the Covid-19 Vaccine Jansen. While they do cite the need to include immune thrombocytopenia as an adverse reaction as well as a warning to alert healthcare professionals and people taking the vaccine of this possible side effect, there is no further advice for menstrual disorders.


The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) also discussed these reports of menstrual disorders post Covid-19 vaccination but stated that no causal association has been found to date between the two. They go on to say that menstrual disorders are very common even without an underlying medical condition.T hey advise anyone experiencing unexpected postmenopausal bleeding to seek medical advice immediately. In the meantime, PRAC will continue to monitor the issue which is why it is important to report any side effects experienced via the Yellow Card Scheme links here[1] https://www.gov.uk/report-problem-medicine-medical-device or if you live in Northern Ireland here https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/articles/reporting-adverse-incident[2]


Throughout the pandemic we have seen a plethora of information on pregnancy and birthing yet information regarding menstruation and vaccines is lacking. At PCOS Vitality we have had several enquiries about this very topic and yet there is no real advice for menstruators let alone those with PCOS. It is reassuring to know that some research is ongoing into menstruation and the vaccine [3]. However, we feel this issue highlights how gynaecological health is often neglected in women’s/people’s health. We need better guidance on this specific to menstruators.


We call on regulatory bodies to issue guidance on this specific concern that women and people who menstruate have. Not only could it potentially, put their minds at ease and help them make more informed decisions about taking up the vaccine but it could also take the strain off GP services which are currently under immense pressure. With long waits for gynaecology appointments this information and assurance is never more needed and we impatiently await the research outcomes.


So remember if you have experienced changes seek medical help, speak to your Dr and if you can report the effects via the yellow card system above.


© PCOS Vitality 2021

DISCLAIMER: Not medical advice. If you need medical advice please speak to your GP or healthcare provider. PCOS Vitality does not recommend any particular course of action. All information provided in good faith.


REFERENCES


[1] Meeting highlights from the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) 5 August 2021 | European Medicines Agency, (n.d.). https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/meeting-highlights-pharmacovigilance-risk-assessment-committee-prac-5-august-2021 (accessed August 10, 2021).

[2] Report a problem with a medicine or medical device - GOV.UK, (n.d.). https://www.gov.uk/report-problem-medicine-medical-device (accessed August 10, 2021).

[3] Research Consent Form, (n.d.). https://redcap.healthinstitute.illinois.edu/surveys/index.php?s=LL8TKKC8DP (accessed August 10, 2021).

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  • PCOS Vitality (c)


Let us know if you are keen to take part in this groundbreaking event, the first of its kind.


There is no obligation to take part and you can withdraw at any time. Just do what you feel comfortable with.


If you are a budding PCOS advocate just get in touch with us by email above and we can send you more details but move fast as spaces are limited.


Stay fabulous,


(c) PCOS Vitality

DISCLAIMER: PCOS Vitality does not provide medical advice. If you need medical advice please contact your Dr or healthcare provider. PCOS Vitality does not accept responsibility for extern links or websites.

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