Investigation of Coronavirus disease 2019 virus in vaginal fluid and menses blood and the effect on menstrual cycle duration and sexual desire: A cross-sectional study


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was detected in the throat, urine, and feces but has little evidence documented of sexual transmission.

Objective: Here, we aimed to diagnose the presence of COVID-19 in vaginal fluids and menses blood. Menstrual cycle duration and sexual desire were the other aims.

Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 300 individuals with clinical approval of COVID-19 infection who were referred to the ALzahra hospital of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran were divided into mild (n = 178, partial pressure of oxygen ≥ 91) and severe (n = 122, partial pressure of oxygen ≤ 91) groups, also based on clinical signs and hospitalization, from January to May 2021. Demographic characteristics, menstruation, and sexual desire of individuals were recorded in the questionnaire blood sampling was done on days 2-4 for menses, and vaginal fluid after menses for polymerase chain reaction by using a Dacron tip swab.

Results: Participants were studied in the mild (mean age: 43.32 ± 7.41) and severe (mean age: 47.15 ± 6.9) groups. COVID-19 infection resulted in shortening the menstrual cycle duration in the severe group (30.15 ± 2.9 vs. 25.12 ± 2.1 days, p = 0.01). Polymerase chain reaction test for vaginal fluid and menses blood was negative for all cases. Sexual desire declined in both groups, significantly.

Conclusion: This virus was not present in the menses blood and vaginal fluid of women with COVID-19 infection, which proposed a low risk of virus transmission via vaginal tracts. Severe COVID-19 infection may affect the menstrual duration.

Key words: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Vagina, Menstruation.

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