Is menstrual cycle health key to well-being for the Covid-19 generation?
Updated: Nov 25, 2021
The menstrual cycle is already key to understanding our own individual health and well-being.
But are the symptoms of a multitude of menstrual cycles key to understanding an experience of a generation?
Recent reports of increased menstrual issues, considered to be caused by the stress of Covid-19, would suggest so.
Can we, therefore, draw a common sense conclusion that, collectively, poor menstrual health is always symptomatic of an unhealthy society (with or without a pandemic)?
How about we measure the greatness of our society on how little menstrual suffering exists?
Menstrual 'dysfunction', says the Royal College of General Practitioners, "compromises education, work, social and family life". The negative ripple effect, although not yet measured, is immense- anyone who has ever suffered with their cycle will tell you the devastating effect it can have on their work and in relationships with all: men, women and children.
When we consider the consequences of menstrual dysfunction, it feels as though the health of each individual menstrual cycle is central to the collective health of society.
Should we now, more than ever, during the global pandemic, be focusing on menstrual health and well-being to help alleviate stress and suffering throughout society?
Kate Shepherd Cohen is a non-clinical menstrual cycle consultant working with the NHS in England to offer the first menstrual cycle support on social prescription, which includes ongoing support for women to chart and understand their cycles in a course that applies the NHS advice on how best to decrease stress during the pandemic. Patients suffering from menstrual issues are referred to Kate from surgeries in some of the most socially and economically deprived areas of England.
For patient referrals & media enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles of interest on Covid-19 and the menstrual cycle:
Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and menstrual health and hygiene (UNICEF)
Can Estrogen and Other Sex Hormones Help Men Survive Covid-19 (NY Times)
How Covid-19 might affect your reproductive health (The Case for Her)
Why you might miss a period during the coronavirus pandemic (Forbes)
Extreme clotting, missed cycles, seizures: How periods have changed during the pandemic (Bustle)
Another routine the pandemic has disrupted: the period (Washington Post)
Covid-19 has devastating effect on women and girls (The Lancet)
Stress and your menstrual period: a cycle you can break (Everyday Health)
Does Covid-19 wreak havoc with the menstrual cycle? Everyday Health)
Does Covid-19 mess with the menstrual cycle? (Medpage Today)
The lockdown effect? Increase in female athletes experiencing changes in menstrual cycles (The Telegraph)
Thanks to the Menstrual Educators facebook group; to Danielle Keiser of Menstrual Health Hub; to Sally King of Menstrual-Matters.com and, to the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) for signposting to research material.