Brief: Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on menstrual health and hygiene

This brief complements other UNICEF guidance on aspects of the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and should be read together with the guidance on monitoring and mitigating the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on WASH services availability and access. Primary impacts of an outbreak are defined as the direct and immediate consequences of the epidemic on human health. Secondary impacts are defined as those caused by the epidemic indirectly, either through the effect of fear on the population or because of the measures taken to contain and control it. COVID-19 is a new disease and evidence is evolving. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets and contact with these droplets on surfaces. COVID-19 does not spread through faeces or blood, including menstrual blood. To date there is no evidence of impacts of COVID-19 on the menstrual cycle directly, though stress, anxiety and malnutrition can impact reproductive health