What was the study asking?
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected women’s reproductive health?
What did they find?
This was an observational study meaning it doesn’t confirm causation, however, it was observed that commonly experienced disturbances to female reproductive health included:
- elevated levels of psychological distress (which has been established by prior research to affect the reproductive cycle by influencing hormone production).
- increased incidence of missed periods.
- more severe PMS symptoms
- transient shortening of menses cycle length
- such changes listed above were reported more commonly by women who experienced significant increases in impaired mood, anxiety and elevated stress levels
What is the take-home message?
The state of a woman’s reproductive health is often a snapshot of their overall health status, as reproductive function is significantly affected by general physical and psychological health.