39.4% of women report menstrual alterations since the start of the pandemic
The study "Equity and menstrual health in Spain" by IDIAPJGol analyzes menstrual alterations during Covid19.
Researchers from IDIAPJGol have carried out a pioneering study on equity and menstrual health in Spain, funded by the European Association for Contraception and Reproductive Health. The objective of this study is to study the inequity and menstrual health of women and people who menstruate between 18 and 55 years of age. In this framework, between April and July 2021 they carried out a survey in which more than 22,000 people participated throughout the Spanish territory, in addition to 34 in-depth interviews.
After analyzing the responses of 17,455 women (96.6%) and menstruating (3.4% non-binary, 0.9% trans), they conclude that a total of 6,871, 39.4%, have reported suffering menstrual disturbances since the beginning of the pandemic.
The alterations reported were: increased menstrual pain (12.6%), longer menstrual cycles (12.5%), shorter menstrual cycles (10%), more abundant menstrual bleeding (7.2%), not having menstrual in at least one menstrual cycle (6.8%), an increase in the duration of menstruation (6.0%), a decrease in the duration of menstruation (5.1%), and a decrease in menstrual pain ( 2.9%).
Menstrual abnormalities in participants without a COVID19 diagnosis were associated with being between 18 and 25 years old and having a diagnosis of fibroids or polycystic ovary syndrome.
Menstrual disorders and COVID19
The risk of reporting menstrual disturbances was found to be associated with persistent COVID19. In participants with a self-reported diagnosis of COVID19, including persistent COVID19, menstrual disturbances were associated with financial problems, poorer self-perceived health, and a diagnosis of endometriosis or adenomyosis.
Specifically, two interview participants diagnosed with persistent COVID19 explained having had significant menstrual changes since having the first symptoms of COVID19.
According to the participants with persistent COVID19, it is essential to be able to consult health professionals for these disorders, and that they are properly cared for. Linked to this point, we see that 5.1% of the participants could not access health services to consult for menstrual disorders because there were no appointments available.
The researchers recommend, among other things, including the gender perspective in the research as well as socio-sanitary policies and practices. Also the approach to menstrual health as a vital sign of the health of women and people who menstruate in healthcare practice.
These data can be consulted in more detail in a report published by the researchers:Menstrual alterations during the COVID19 pandemic in Spain.
Laura Medina Perucha (IDIAPJGol), Anna Berenguera Ossó (IDIAPJGol), Tomàs López Jiménez (IDIAPJGol), Constanza Jacques Aviñó (IDIAPJGol), Anna Sofie Holst (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, IDIAPJGol), Cristina Martínez Bueno (Institut Català de la Salut, grupo GRASSIR), Jordina Munrós Feliu (Institut Català de la Salut), Carme Valls Llobet (Centro de Análisis y Programas Sanitarios, CAPS), Diana Pinzón Sanabria (SomiArte Taller), and Mercedes Vicente Hernández (Institut Català de la Salut, grupo GRASSIR).
We want to thank the following people and organizations for supporting the study: Carmen Revuelta, Ramona Ortiz, Rosa Turbau Valls, Mònica Isidro Albaladejo, Enara Solana Lizarza, Paula Briales Canseco, Lola Hernández, Anna Moleras, Centre Jove d’Atenció a les Sexualitats (CJAS), La Caravana Roja, La Vida en Rojo Asociación de Cultura Menstrual, DIM y DIM Protect, CYCLO Menstruación Sostenible, Joventut Barcelona, Aguas de Luna, Xusa Sanz, Cristina Luna, Sylvia de Bejar, Laia Casadevall, Irene Aterido, Celia Cuenca, EndoFem, Judit Pelegrí Alvárez, Blanca Albillos Mingorance, Julia Arquillos Jimenez, Gala Montenegro Nadal, Sílvia Martin Egido, Cristina Morote Muñoz, Marta Boqué Ramon, Anna Solé Valls, Anna Sánchez Benedet, Irene Blanco Alcántara, Frater Nadal, Abel Renuncio, Emilia Bailon, Tania Cero, Sociedad Española de Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria (semFYC), Banc Farmacèutic, La Nau and Ajuntament de Cornellà.