It’s been nearly a year since the world has changed massively, all courtesy Covid-19, which in a matter of months, escalated to a worldwide pandemic. Offices were closed, people were asked to work from home, all major shopping centers, gyms, parks, and other places of public interest were shut to maintain social distancing and stop the spread of the disease.
Countries around the world imposed lockdowns and people who had travelled or had a travel history were asked to quarantine. Lockdowns were carried on for months on end. People were in quarantine for weeks. The nature of the disease was such that the only way its transmission could be avoided was by ensuring that people were not in physical contact with each other.
The world may have paused due to Covid-19 but not our menstrual cycles. Come rain, come sunshine, come pandemic, come lockdown, the female menstrual cycle goes on, in sync with the nature around it. Being half the world’s population, Covid-19 has affected women in more ways than one.
First, Covid-19, with its many lockdowns and quarantines, has brought to fore the issue of access to period products. Shops were closed, online deliveries were stalled, and there were several issues with transportation. Women who use disposable period products found it difficult to make their emergency menstruation product purchases. They were left high and dry with no shops in sight. In retrospect, those who had switched to reusable period products before the lockdown hit found it a breeze; in fact, they were less stressed about having to buy any products at all! With Covid-19 causing out-patient departments to temporarily shut down, women who had to visit gynaecologists for their appointments/emergencies were also left with no one to consult. Procedures that were not considered as being absolutely necessary and could wait for a while were all put forward indefinitely. In a country like India where the access to reproductive care is poor sans Covid-19, it was worse with Covid-19.
The sudden change in everyone’s schedules, the added stress of work from home and managing work and family, the inability to step out and get some fresh air and possibly exercise, all made a big impact on women’s reproductive health. Periods are nature’s way of communicating that everything is fine with the body’s natural processes. If anything goes amiss physically or emotionally, it can affect one’s menstrual cycles. As a rule, irregular periods once in a while are totally acceptable. It’s common for one’s life experiences to affect your menstrual cycle. However, if the irregular periods continue month after month, it’s best to see a gynaecologist. We conducted a poll on our Instagram Stories recently and 70% of the voters said that Covid-19 affected their periods – either in the form of delayed periods or exacerbated premenstrual symptoms.
If your periods were delayed due to the added Covid stress, here are our top tips for you to stay in tune:
- Remember, this is a passing phase. Once things settle down and you feel more comfortable about the state of things, you will start feeling better.
- Take this time as a time of exploration – of a hobby, a new course, anything that you’ve been waiting to try. The distraction will keep you occupied enough to not stress about your periods.
- Remember to move every day – be it in the form of regular exercise or yoga, a walk on your terrace, or a stroll in the park (socially distanced, of course) to get some fresh air. Fresh air and movement do wonders for your body; the lack of exercise while being locked down in the pandemic definitely affects one’s periods.
- And here’s our top tip: it’s not just your body that needs the TLC and exercise, we recommend you do a set of pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your uterine and pelvic muscles whenever you get the time. To find your pelvic muscle, simply stop midstream while urinating – that muscle is your pelvic muscle. Wherever you are, you can simply clench and unclench these pelvic muscles to keep your reproductive system in shape!
Periods and Covid
With Covid-19 at its peak, many women contracted Covid-19 despite the measures for social distancing. Those who did contract the disease suffered quite a bit with Covid-19 as well as their first period post Covid-19. Many reported delayed periods post their experience with Covid-19. Apart from this, many also experienced clots and heavy bleeding, along with symptoms more than usual during PMS. We must understand that the body goes through quite a bit of a change when fighting off any infection. Therefore, we must give it time to recover; once the recovery is complete and the person is back to doing their everyday activities as usual, the side-effects will subside.
In whatever way Covid-19 has affected your body and your menstrual cycles, know that it’ll get better. Also, seek out and ask for help when you need it rather than keeping your worries to yourself! Here’s hoping for a Covid-free 2021!
Would you like to play our period crossword? Its free to download ! Just click here for the period game
Visit this link to learn more about periods and covid / period poverty.