How lifestyle changes during the COVID-19 global pandemic affected the pattern and symptoms of the menstrual cycle
This research investigated the implications that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the menstrual cycle and any contributing factors to these changes. A questionnaire was completed by 559 eumenorrheic participants, capturing detail on menstrual cycle symptoms and characteristics prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period. Over half of all participants reported to have experienced lack of motivation (61.5%), focus (54.7%) and concentration (57.8%). 52.8% of participants reported an increase in cycle length. Specifically, there was an increase in the median cycle length reported of 5 days (minimum 2 days, maximum 32 days), with a median decrease of 3 days (minimum 2 days and maximum 17 days). A lack of focus was significantly associated with a change in menstrual cycle length (p = 0.038) reported to have increased by 61% of participants. Changes to eating patterns of white meat (increase p = 0.035, decrease p = 0.003) and processed meat (increase p = 0.002 and decrease p = 0.001) were significantly associated with a change in menstrual cycle length. It is important that females and practitioners become aware of implications of environmental stressors and the possible long-term effects on fertility. Future research should continue to investigate any long-lasting changes in symptoms, as well as providing education and support for females undergoing any life stressors that may implicate their menstrual cycle and/or symptoms.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Published inInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Authors
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access Article. It is published by MDPI under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/