It’s menstruation time, baby.
And not in the good way.
More than a thousand people reported lasting health effects after being exposed to teargas during protests in Portland, Oregon, last summer, according to a newly published scientific study.
Nearly 900 people reported abnormal menstrual cycles, including intense cramping and increased bleeding, that began or persisted days after their initial exposure to the teargas. Hundreds of others complained of other negative health impacts, including severe headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and mental health concerns.
The new research, based on an online survey of more than 2,200 people, challenges claims that the health consequences of being teargassed are minor and temporary, said Dr Britta Torgrimson-Ojerio, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and the lead author of the study.
It is also the first published, peer-reviewed study to confirm a link between teargas and abnormal menstruation, a connection that was widely discussed by American protesters on social media and in news reports last year.
Participants in racial justice protests against police violence last summer in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Rochester and other cities told media outlets that their exposure to teargas had been followed by unexpected bleeding, unusually painful cramps, and other disruptions of their typical menstrual cycles.
Last July, Oregon Public Broadcast interviewed 26 protesters, ages 17 to 43, who said that exposure to teargas had affected their periods. Some described large blood clots, others “cramps that felt like sharp rocks”.
“We’re not paranoid. This isn’t a coincidence. Something’s going on,” one 29-year-old protester told Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Five transgender people who were taking testosterone, which typically stops menstruation, told the radio outlet that they had seen cramps and bleeding start again after exposure to teargas.
In Seattle, more than a dozen people, including some who were not present at protests but had been exposed to teargas drifting into their homes, told KUOW they believed their periods had been affected.
The results of the Portland study, including the new link between teargas and menstruation, are an important contribution to the scientific research on teargas, which has primarily been tested on younger men in military and police settings, said Sven-Eric Jordt, a professor of anesthesiology at Duke University.
“At this time, we don’t know how teargas causes these [menstrual] irregularities,” Jordt told the Guardian. “It is possible that pain, stress, dehydration and exertion play a role. Alternatively, teargas degradation products in the human body may have endocrine effects.”
More than half of the people in the survey who menstruated described some kind of irregularity in their periods, or breast and chest tenderness, after being teargassed.
Some respondents to the Kaiser Permanente Northwest survey described cramps so severe that they reported needing to seek medical attention from an urgent care clinic or emergency room, she said.
The researchers also found a “dose response”: people who described more frequent and repeated exposure to tear gas also described more serious disruptions to their menstrual cycles.
Is it really the teargas?
Or is it… the vaccine…?
Seriously though, if even one vaxxed person was at this riot, they could have made all the other people’s (persons, male and female, lol) periods go south.
People have been teargassed for years, and we’ve never heard of this before. All of a sudden when vaxxed people are causing menstrual disruption, they’re saying the teargas causes it?
Is there a vaccine in the teargas?
The vaccine-period connection is the number one thing Joe Biden needs to explain, or else I’m voting for Donald Trump again.