Examining the Possible Link Between COVID-19 Vaccines and Menstrual Changes
July 30, 2022
One of the persistent questions surrounding the reluctance of some women to get COVID-19 vaccinations is the potential impact on their reproductive health. A McLean Hospital researcher and some colleagues are working hard to provide some answers.
“Women and parents of girls are very concerned about how the vaccine could affect their reproductive health,” said Laura Payne, PhD, director of McLean’s Clinical and Translational Pain Research Laboratory.
“The initial vaccine clinical trials were focused primarily on life-or-death measures. We want to take the next step, to be able to inform the public if there are other changes to expect.”
Payne’s work focuses on identifying neurobiological, behavioral, and psychological biomarkers related to pain, particularly menstrual pain in adolescents. Specifically, she is interested in identifying factors associated with the transition from recurrent to chronic pain in girls and young women.
Supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), her lab has focused on adolescent girls with varying levels of menstrual pain—following them over two years and looking at their pain responses and their self-reported menstrual cycle characteristics.
When the potential menstrual cycle changes related to the vaccine were first reported, NICHD recognized the lack of research in the area and committed $1.67 million to this effort.
Payne and four other researchers were each awarded a one-year, supplemental grant to investigate potential links between SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations and menstrual cycle changes.
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