Home Women's Wellness Can Menopause Affect COVID-19 Severity and Outcome?

Can Menopause Affect COVID-19 Severity and Outcome?

by Gauri Kolhe

COVID-19 pandemic affects persons with heart disease, asthma, DM, and cancer. What stands out as peculiar is an individual finding that has come from a number of separate research projects all around the globe.

COVID-19 symptoms are severe in postmenopausal women. Despite this, experts have said that further work is required to investigate the connections between menopause and the long-lasting effects of Covid-19.

What precisely is menopause?

The end of a woman’s reproductive age is defined by the three stages of menopause: premenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. At this point, she will no longer be experiencing her monthly period.

This phase begins anywhere from eight to twelve years before the onset of menopause and is known as the whole perimenopause. The transition towards menopause occurs when a woman’s periods stop entirely and are absent for at least one year. The period that follows menopause and continues beyond it is postmenopause.

The oestrogen-COVID-19 relationship

Research carried out at King’s College London discovered that when oestrogen levels in females decline throughout pre-menopause and menopause, they become sensitive to COVID19 infection. This finding suggests that having high oestrogen levels may have a protective impact against the severity of COVID-19. This idea emerged from estradiol’s significance in modulating and suppressing the immune system.

Even though an equal proportion of men and females tested positive for COVID-19, the males were more likely to present with severe symptoms. This suggests that female hormones may have a shielding role in the pathophysiology of COVID-19. The survey was conducted by Global Health 50/50.

Does oestrogen prevent severe COVID-19?

Oestrogen is a hormone closely connected to a women’s reproductive system. When menopause starts to set in, the ovaries produce less oestrogen.

The relationship between a greater level of oestrogen and a decreased risk of death from COVID-19 has continued to pique the curiosity of the scientific community.

According to the findings in BMJ Open, postmenopausal women who took supplementary oestrogen had a lower mortality risk from COVID-19 than those who did not take any additional oestrogen. This is a fascinating finding, which demonstrates the need for more research. For instance, studies that looked at potential therapies for COVID-19 mentioned oestrogen as a prospective therapeutic drug. A clinical examination is required to assess whether there is an impact.

Menstrual cycle characteristics and the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased discussions have stated that women have experienced menstrual differences such as changed menstrual timespan, intensity, consistency, and quantity (heavier bleeding and clotting), increased dysmenorrhoea, and worsened premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Recent anecdotal reports of menstruation abnormalities after COVID-19 immunization have fueled vaccine hesitation or rejection. The correct scientific examination of these occurrences is critical for public health.

The COVID-19 prevention and control methods

In especially young people and women, COVID-19 mitigation and control techniques, such as lockdowns and social isolation, have been linked to increases in psychological stress, sadness, and anxiety, as well as decreases in overall well-being. Several studies have also shown correlations between the pandemic and changes in people’s health habits and weight gain.

Psychological stress is one of the established risk factors for hypothalamic hypogonadism, which may cause menstrual irregularities or perhaps stop altogether. There is also a well-known connection between weight shifts and menstrual cycle changes. In addition, there is some evidence, albeit inconclusive, that the menstrual cycle can be changed by changes in health behaviors such as alterations in alcohol consumption, diet, and physical activity.

Conclusion

Anecdotal information, official health monitoring, and a few scientific studies of different quality show that many women have suffered alterations to their menstrual cycle during the COVID-19 pandemic, either owing to pandemic-related variables including stress and behavior changes or due to COVID-19 sickness itself. COVID-19 and other health-related exposures must be studied more in women’s menstrual health.

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