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Are Menstrual Changes Following COVID-19 Vaccination a Warning Sign of Fertility Problems?

Back in December, Joe Rogan, host of the popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, a physician scientist who has been very critical of COVID-19 vaccines, but he is far out of synch with experts in public health and infectious disease around the planet, and with government health authorities, such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Public Health Agency of Canada, the UK National Health Service, the Israeli Ministry of Health, and you name it. Basically, Malone is spreading misinformation. During the three hour interview, Malone and Rogan discussed a variety of topics in connection with Dr. Malone’s objections particularly of the mRNA vaccines, meaning the COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. One of the highlights came when Malone started talking about the timing of, and changes to menstrual periods of women following jabs of mRNA vaccines. This is a topic that was discussed in The Pulse around the time of the Rogan-Malone interview, just as data from a few studies were becoming available in preprint manuscripts, while other studies were in the process of getting published.

It was Malone’s assertion that influential entities, such as government agencies and big pharma were denying any effects of vaccine jabs on reproductive physiology, when actually the National Institutes of Health (NIH), months earlier, had announced the availability of millions of dollars in government grant money to study the issue. Built into Malone’s discussion was an idea that any change involving the reproductive system, such as a change in menstruation related to the vaccines could be a sign of some kind of negative effect on fertility. The latter is an idea that Malone has been spreading based on another claim that he makes that the spike protein —a viral protein that the vaccines carry a recipe for cells of a vaccinated person to make to teach the immune system how to respond to the actual virus— is dangerous. Experts who study the spike protein do not think that the vaccine-generated spike protein is dangerous, but Malone claims that it is shows up throughout the body in vaccinated people and does damage, including damage to reproductive organs.

It was in this context that, during the Rogan interview, Malone broached the topic of mRNA vaccines and the female reproductive system by discussing disruptions of menstrual cycles among ultra-orthodox Jewish women that had come to involve what he called a rabbinical ‘court’:

Now one of the things that was fascinating, I was asked to testify to the hasidic Jew rabbinical court in New York a lot of interesting things happen…it turns out that the rabbis in the hasidic Jew community carefully monitor, we don’t need to go into how, the menstrual cycle of the fertile women in their um congregations, closely monitor it, because there is strict um guidance about cleanliness and intercourse …and they all knew that these menstrual cycles were being disrupted all the time and for them this was a major crisis… and this was a major threat to reproductive health in their communities, now they they took all this testimony they thought about it and they came out with a clear statement that children should not be vaccinated…in adults it’s strongly discouraged and part of the reason is because of these alterations in reproduction um and again the point what’s the common variable is the ovary this is why I say in my little statement that’s gone all over the world this little four-minute clip that’s kind of gone viral and triggered governments to attack me now like Israel and Spain and Italy um in the same systematic pattern of you know um uh trying to demean me and delegitimize me but um that’s why I say in that that that think twice about giving these jabs to your kids among other things your your girls are born with all the eggs they will ever have and these lipids are going to the ovaries and they appear to be affecting menstruation in some way but menstruation is just one of these adverse events you picked out…

Basically, Malone was saying that one of the haredi (black hat wearing) Jewish communities in Brooklyn is taking him seriously, but the government of Israel is not, nor are the governments of any countries. He chose to talk about this, rather than actual scientific studies on vaccines and menstruation, such as a study that would publish in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology just a few weeks after Malone’s appearance with Rogan. Based at Oregon Health Sciences University, the study examined information on the timing and characteristics of menstruation, on vaccine doses, and on other factors from nearly 4,000 women reporting through a phone tracking app.

The study found that actually yes, getting a vaccine jab can affect the length of your menstrual cycles, but only by a tiny bit. We are talking hours to up to a day out of the month. For women who received two vaccine doses during the same cycle, the timing of their periods could change by up to two days. Some women experienced some heavier than normal bleeding (an observation that Malone mentioned from other sources), but everything went back to normal (the amount of bleeding and the lengths of cycles) within two cycles. Because the immune system influences sex hormone physiology, these temporary changes following a vaccine jab should not be a problem any more than slight menstrual changes due to various medications.

Now what about fertility? Was there any connection between changes in periods and fertility related to vaccines? About a year ago, here on The Pulse, we debunked a claim about COVID-19 vaccines affecting the placenta and fertility related to how the immune system works. Now there is proof in the actual statistics on women receiving vaccines. The Boston University School of Public Health released a study on effects of COVID-19 vaccine jabs, SARS-CoV2 infection, and COVID-19, on more than 2,000 Canadian and US couples trying to conceive. The researchers found that vaccination did not interfere with fertility. However, infection with SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) was shown to caused a temporary drop in fertility in males who were infected. This means that if you and your male partner want to be fertile as a couple, the man should be vaccinated for that purpose, although you both should be vaccinated for the sake of your own health, and the health of your future baby.

David Warmflash
Dr. David Warmflash is a science communicator and physician with a research background in astrobiology and space medicine. He has completed research fellowships at NASA Johnson Space Center, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brandeis University. Since 2002, he has been collaborating with The Planetary Society on experiments helping us to understand the effects of deep space radiation on life forms, and since 2011 has worked nearly full time in medical writing and science journalism. His focus area includes the emergence of new biotechnologies and their impact on biomedicine, public health, and society.

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