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Covid vaccine: Can you get vaccinated on your period and what are the side effects?

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The NHS notes that there are so far four COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK. These are the Moderna vaccine, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Janssen vaccine which will be available later this year. Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines. There are very few circumstances when you will not be advised to have the vaccine.

NHS Inform notes that some people have reported temporary changes in their periods after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

It adds: “Some women have reported heavier bleeding than usual, delayed periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding.”

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and other experts are currently monitoring and evaluating these reports.

Nonetheless, the NHS says: “Current evidence suggests there is no link between period problems or unexpected vaginal bleeding and coronavirus vaccines.”

Since the UK’s Covid vaccination programme began there have been various reports of side effects.

The NHS suggests that the number of reports is relatively low given the number of women who have taken the vaccine, and says “menstrual changes reported usually do not last long”.

The health body also notes that changes to the menstrual cycle have also been reported following infection with coronavirus and in women affected by long Covid.

It advises that if you have changes to your periods that are unusual for you, persist over time, or you have any new vaginal bleeding after the menopause, following coronavirus vaccination, that you should speak to your GP.

You can report suspected side effects to medicines, vaccines, medical devices and test kit incidents used in coronavirus testing and treatment to the MHRA via the Yellow Card Scheme.

MHRA is responsible for continuously monitoring the safety of all medicines and vaccines once they are approved for use.

LLoyds pharmacy online health site notes “there have been reports from women around the world about menstrual changes following the vaccine”.

“According to the BMJ there had been almost 30,000 reported cases by September 2021. These cases were reported to the government’s Yellow Card Scheme which records side effects from medicines and vaccines,” it says.

There have also been a lot of claims made on social media suggesting the COVID-19 vaccines have an impact on fertility, but the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect your fertility or reduce your chances of falling pregnant.

Many women involved in vaccine trials have gone on to conceive according to the latest research.

The UK’s vaccine committee, therefore, recommends pregnant women should be offered the vaccine to protect them against coronavirus.

If you’re pregnant and have not had a COVID-19 vaccine yet, the NHS says that it’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

“This is because these vaccines have been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified,” states the NHS.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccines and cannot pass it to your baby through your breast milk, it adds.

Research also shows that the COVID-19 vaccine does not increase the risk of miscarriage.

If you have already had a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you can have your second dose with the same vaccine.

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