The findings indicated that more than half (54 per cent) of the individuals in the study experienced changes in their menstrual cycle following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
"We know added stress can negatively impact our overall health and well-being, but for women and people who menstruate, stress can also disrupt normal menstrual cycle patterns and overall reproductive health," said researcher Nicole Woitowich from Northwestern University.
For the study, published in the Journal of Women's Health, the research team surveyed more than 200 individuals who menstruate in the US between July and August 2020 to better understand how stress during the pandemic influenced their menstrual cycles.
Individuals who experienced higher levels of stress during the Covid-19 pandemic were more likely to experience heavier menstrual bleeding and a longer duration of their period, compared to individuals with moderate stress levels, the study found.
"Reproductive health should not be ignored in the context of Covid-19," Woitowich said.
"We are already seeing the ripple effects of what happens when we fail to consider this important facet of women's health as many are now experiencing menstrual cycle irregularities as a result of the Covid-19 vaccines or Covid-19 infection," Woitowich added.