New research has revealed almost half of women have reported worsening PMS and changes in their menstrual cycle during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the research from menstrual cup brand, Mooncup, 45.3 per cent of women say their PMS symptoms (such as mood swings, bloating, hormonal acne, and irritability) have got worse during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Only 10.8 per cent say their PMS symptoms have improved.

Furthermore, some 79 per cent of participants report a change in their overall period experience since the start of the pandemic: 42.8 per cent saying their experience has been worse and 36.2 per cent better.

The respondents stated stress and anxiety (39.1 per cent) and working from home (33.8 per cent) as the main factors impacting their period experience. The respondents commented on how the stresses of home schooling, redundancies, and business or money worries had changed their period experience for the worse.

On the other hand, many were grateful to be working from home, being able to use a hot water bottle to alleviate period pains and not having to worry about leaking or being caught out in a workplace. Exercise, or lack of, also made a difference, with 11 per cent of respondents believing that the change in how they exercise had impacted their period.

Most survey participants had experienced a change in their menstrual cycle during this time with only 34.2 per cent reporting no change. The changes varied from changes to their menstrual flow (21.5 per cent), cycle length (23.2 per cent), as well as people saying that their periods had stopped (2.3 per cent) or come back (4.7 per cent) since the pandemic started.

The different lifestyle within the pandemic has also allowed over half (53.4 per cent) of respondents to change or considered changing the type of menstrual product they use. The drivers for this change are the comfort of trying something new at home and environmental reasons – both cited by 62.5 per cent of respondents.

Kath Clements, Mooncup Director, commented: “This survey offers great insights into just how interlinked our physical and mental health are with our menstrual cycle. It’s also clear that periods are still a taboo in a workplace and working from home is offering some of us the freedom to look after ourselves during those days when a hot water bottle and a different tempo is what we need most. Meanwhile. we’ve heard from women working on the frontline and how difficult it can be to manage periods on long shifts, and for some in full PPE.

“For many, slowing down has clearly given an opportunity to reset and reconsider their choice of period products. While many of us are understandably concerned about our health, we haven’t forgotten about our environmental impact either.”