Study finds association between stress level in early cycle, severity of symptoms
Women who report feeling stressed early in their monthly cycle were more likely than those who were less stressed to report more pronounced symptoms before and during menstruation, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. The association raises the possibility that feeling stressed in the weeks before menstruation could worsen the symptoms typically associated with premenstrual syndrome and menstruation.
Women who reported feeling stressed two weeks before the beginning of menstruation were two to four times more likely to report moderate to severe symptoms than were women who did not feel stressed.
Premenstrual syndrome is a group of physical and psychological symptoms occurring around the time of ovulation, which may extend into the early days of menstruation. Symptoms include feelings of anger, anxiety, mood swings, depression, fatigue, decreased concentration, breast swelling and tenderness, general aches, and abdominal bloating.
The study was conducted by researchers in the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the State University of New York, Buffalo. The study was published online in the Journal of Women’s Health.
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