Menstrual symptoms variation among Lebanese women before and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Main Article Content

Keywords

Women, COVID-19, Menstrual cycle, Bleeding, Distress, Lebanon

Abstract

Objectives: Pandemic diseases and the confinement measures due to COVID-19 infection have introduced acute and persistent psychosocial stressors for different individuals with a greater influence on females manifested through changes in the menstrual cycle. The objective of this study was to assess Lebanese female of reproductive age about their menstrual cycle, their mental health, and their lifestyle, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Beirut blast, and the economic crises. Methods: A cross-sectional online study conducted between October and December 2021, enrolled 398 Lebanese women using the snowball technique. The Menstrual Symptom Questionnaire (MSQ) was used to assess menstrual symptoms. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to assess factors associated with the variation in MSQ scores after vs before the pandemic. Results: Our results showed that a significantly higher number of days of menses, number of pads per day and total MSQ score were significantly found after the pandemic compared to before it. More distress (Beta=0.68), more post-traumatic stress disorder due to COVID-19 (Beta=0.19), a higher number of waterpipes smoked per week (Beta=1.20) and being infected by COVID-19 compared to not (Beta=3.98) were significantly associated with an increase in the MSQ score after the pandemic compared to before it. Conclusion: Our main findings indicate that females had irregular menstrual cycles, unpredictable bleeding pattern, and intense symptoms severity post COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, stress post COVID-19 and Beirut blast tended to be associated with increased menstrual symptoms. Thus, vulnerable women should be identified and offered appropriate care, information, and awareness regarding their menstrual period during a pandemic.

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