MRI reveals menstrually-related muscle edema that negatively affects athletic agility in young women.
ABSTRACT: About 10% of Japanese female athletes are afflicted by menstrually-related edema, mainly in the lower limbs, and, with few studies on this problem, the effect on performance remains unclear.To quantitatively evaluate fluid retention in the calf in female students over their menstrual cycle using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to determine the relationship of MRI changes and athletic performance.The menstrual cycle was divided into 5 phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, early luteal, and late luteal with sampling done in either morning (AM) or afternoon (PM) sessions. At each phase, MRI of the calf (7:00-8:00, 14:00-16:00), body composition and hormones (7:00-8:00), and athletic performance (14:00-16:00) were evaluated.13 adult healthy Japanese female students with eumenorrhea.Estradiol levels decreased significantly in the menstrual phase and the follicular phase compared to the early luteal phase (P = 0.001, P = 0.024 respectively). Menstrual phase estradiol levels were significantly lower compared to the ovulatory phase (P = 0.015), and the late luteal phase (P = 0.003). Progesterone levels decreased significantly in the menstrual phase and the follicular phase compared to the ovulatory phase (P = 0.012, P = 0.009 respectively), the early luteal phase (both P = 0.007), and the late luteal phase (P = 0.028, P = 0.029 respectively), and it along with a significant decrease in the ovulatory phase compared to the early luteal phase (P = 0.010). AM T2 signals were significantly lower in the menstrual phase compared to the ovulatory phase (P = 0.043) but not other phases. PM T2 signals increased significantly in the menstrual phase compared to the follicular phase (P = 0.003), ovulatory phase (P = 0.009), and the late luteal phase (P = 0.032), and the difference between the AM and PM values increased significantly in the menstrual phase compared to the other 4 phases (P<0.01). A negative correlation between fluid retention and agility was observed.In female students fluid retention during the menstrual phase could be a factor that influences athletic agility.
Project description:PURPOSE:DNA repair genes Minichromosome maintenance complex component (MCM) 8 and 9 have been linked with gonadal development, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), and age at menopause. Our objective was to characterize MCM 8 and 9 gene expression in the menstrual cycle, and to compare MCM 8/9 expression in POI vs normo-ovulatory women. METHODS:Normo-ovulatory controls (n?=?11) and unexplained POI subjects (n?=?6) were recruited. Controls provided three blood samples within one menstrual cycle: (1) early follicular phase, (2) ovulation, and (3) mid-luteal phase. Six of 11 controls only provided a follicular phase sample. Amenorrheic POI subjects provided a single, random blood sample. MCM8/9 expression in peripheral blood was assessed with qRTPCR. Analyses were performed using delta-Ct measurements; group differences were transformed to a fold change (FC) and confidence interval (CI). Differences across menstrual cycle phases were compared using random effects ANOVA. Two-sample t tests were used to compare two groups. RESULTS:MCM8 expression was significantly lower at ovulation and during the luteal phase, when compared to the follicular phase [FC?=?0.69 in the luteal vs follicular phase (p?=?0.012, CI?=?0.53, 0.90); and 0.65 in the ovulatory vs follicular phase (p?=?0.0057, CI?=?0.50, 0.85)]. No change in MCM9 expression was noted throughout the menstrual cycle. No significant difference was seen in MCM8/9 expression when comparing POI to control subjects. CONCLUSIONS:Our study showed greater MCM8 expression in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, compared to the ovulatory and luteal phases. No cyclic changes were seen with MCM9. Significant differences in MCM8/9 expression were not detected between POI and controls; however, we recommend further investigation with a larger sample population.
Project description:Women report greater sleep disturbance during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle and during menses. However, the putative hormonal basis of perceived menstrual cycle-related sleep disturbance has not been investigated directly. We examined associations of objective measures of sleep fragmentation with reproductive hormone levels in healthy, premenopausal women.Twenty-seven women with monthly menses had hormone levels measured at two time points during a single menstrual cycle: the follicular phase and the peri-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase. A single night of home polysomnography (PSG) was recorded on the day of the peri-ovulatory/mid-luteal-phase blood draw. Serum progesterone, estradiol, and estrone levels concurrent with PSG and rate of change in progesterone (PROGslope) from the follicular blood draw to PSG were correlated with log-transformed wake after sleep onset (lnWASO%) and number of wakes/hour of sleep (lnWake-Index) using linear regression.Sleep was more fragmented in association with a steeper PROGslope (lnWASO% p=0.016; lnWake-Index p=0.08) and higher concurrent estrone level (lnWASO% p=0.03; lnWake-Index p=0.01), but the effect of estrone on WASO was lost after accounting for PROGslope. WASO% and Wake-Index were not associated with concomitant progesterone or estradiol levels.A steeper rate of rise in progesterone levels from the follicular phase through the mid-luteal phase was associated with significantly greater WASO, establishing a link between reproductive hormone dynamics and sleep fragmentation in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Project description:Interest in cardiac vagal activity (CVA; e.g., parasympathetically-mediated heart rate variability) as a biomarker of physical and mental health has increased exponentially in recent years. However, the understanding of sources of within-person change (i.e., intra-individual variance) in CVA is lagging behind. This systematic review and meta-analysis summarizes and quantifies current empirical evidence of within-person changes in measures of CVA across the menstrual cycle in naturally-cycling premenopausal females. We conducted an extensive literature search following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement in five databases to identify observational studies with repeated measures of CVA in at least two menstrual cycle phases. A broad meta-analysis (nstudies = 37; nindividuals = 1,004) revealed a significant CVA decrease from the follicular to luteal phase (d = -0.39, 95% CI (-0.67, -0.11)). Furthermore, 21 studies allowed for finer-grained comparisons between each of two cycle phases (menstrual, mid-to-late follicular, ovulatory, early-to-mid luteal, and premenstrual). Significant decreases in CVA were observed from the menstrual to premenstrual (nstudies = 5; nindividuals = 200; d = -1.17, 95% CI (-2.18, -0.17)) and from the mid-to-late follicular to premenstrual phases (nstudies = 8; nindividuals = 280; d = -1.32, 95% CI (-2.35, -0.29)). In conclusion, meta-analyses indicate the presence of CVA fluctuations across the menstrual cycle. Future studies involving CVA should control for cycle phase. Recommendations for covarying or selecting cycle phase are provided.
Project description:In previous work in young women aged 15-30 years we measured breast water and fat using MR and obtained blood for hormone assays on the same day in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Only serum growth hormone levels and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were significantly associated with percent breast water after adjustment for covariates. The sex hormones estradiol, progesterone and testosterone were not associated with percent water in the breast in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. In the present study we have examined the association of percent breast water with serum levels of sex hormones in both follicular and luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.In 315 healthy white Caucasian young women aged 15-30 with regular menstrual cycles who had not used oral contraceptives or other hormones in the previous 6 months, we used MR to determine percent breast water, and obtained blood samples for hormone assays within 10 days of the onset of the most recent menstrual cycle (follicular phase) of the cycle on the same day as the MR scan, and a second blood sample on days 19-24 of the cycle. Serum progesterone levels of > = 5 mmol/L in days 19-24 were used to define the 225 subjects with ovulatory menstrual cycles, whose data are the subject of the analyses shown here.SHBG was positively associated with percent water in both follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Total and free estradiol and total and free testosterone were not associated with percent water in the follicular phase, but in young women with ovulatory cycles, were all negatively associated with percent water in the luteal phase.Our results from young women aged 15-30 years add to the evidence that the extent of fibroglandular tissue in the breast that is reflected in both mammographic density and breast water is associated positively with higher serum levels of SHBG, but not with higher levels of sex hormones.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate if sexual activity moderated menstrual cycle-related shifts in cytokines associated with T-helper type 1 (TH1) cells (e.g., interferon [IFN] ?) and T-helper type 2 (TH2) cells (e.g., interleukin [IL] 4). Immune activity shifts across the menstrual cycle, with higher follicular-phase TH1-cell activity but higher luteal-phase TH2-cell activity. Little is known about how social behaviors alter TH1-TH2 ratios, despite evidence that psychosocial factors can influence immunity. Of particular interest is how sexual activity influences immune responses that may support conception, such as the TH1-TH2 balance. DESIGN:Participants provided saliva samples at four time points (menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases), which were assayed by means of ELISA. SETTING:Academic laboratory. PARTICIPANT(S):Thirty healthy premenopausal women (16 sexually abstinent, 14 sexually active) not taking hormonal or immunoactive medications. INTERVENTION(S):None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):Salivary E2, P, IFN-?, and IL-4. RESULT(S):Sexually active, but not abstinent, women were significantly more likely to express TH2-like cytokine ratios (IFN-? < IL-4) in the luteal phase than in other phases. Similarly, sexually active women had significantly higher P, and higher P-E2 ratios, in the luteal phase than did abstinent women. The P-E2 ratio mediated menstrual variations in cytokine ratios in sexually active women. CONCLUSION(S):These results support the hypothesis that shifts in immune response across the menstrual cycle may reflect tradeoffs between reproduction and immunity. These findings point to the need for further research on the interaction between sexual behavior, the menstrual cycle, and immune response.
Project description:Context:Menstrual irregularity after menarche has been attributed to immature estrogen positive feedback activity (E+FB) but data are conflicting. Objective:To determine the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian contributions to menstrual irregularity in adolescents. Methods:Twenty-three healthy girls [aged 12.8 to 17.6 years; 0.4 to 3.5 years postmenarche; body mass index (BMI) percentile, 41.0 to 99.3] underwent serial hormone measurements and pelvic ultrasounds during two consecutive menstrual cycles. Hormones and follicle growth were compared with 65 adult historic controls with ovulatory cycles (OVs). Results:Girls had anovulatory cycles (ANOVs; 30%), OVs with a short luteal phase (short OVs; 22%), or OVs with normal luteal phase (normal OVs; 48%) without differences in cycle length, chronologic or gynecologic age, or BMI. Adolescents showed a spectrum of E+FB [midcycle LH adjusted for preovulatory estradiol (E2)]; only normal OV girls were comparable to adults. All OV girls had lower E2, progesterone, and gonadotropins during the luteal phase and luteal-follicular transition compared with adults. Normal OV girls also had lower follicular phase LH and FSH levels, a longer follicular phase, a slower dominant follicle growth rate, and smaller estimated preovulatory follicle size than adults. Follicular phase E2 and inhibin B levels were lower in normal OV girls than in adults even after adjusting for differences in FSH and follicle size. Conclusions:Early postmenarchal girls with normal OVs demonstrate mature E+FB but continue to have lower gonadotropin levels, diminished ovarian responsiveness, and decreased corpus luteum sex steroid synthesis compared with adults, indicating that reproductive axis maturity requires coordinated development of all components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Several studies have investigated the relationship between behavioral changes and the menstrual cycle in female subjects at a reproductive age. The present study investigated the relationship between the menstrual cycle and emotional face recognition by measuring the N170 component of ERPs. METHODS:We measured N170 of twelve women in both follicular phase and late luteal phase who were presented with human facial expressions as stimuli (happy and angry). RESULTS:In the follicular phase, participants showed a significantly larger response to happy male facial expressions. In the late luteal phase, participants had longer reaction times to all emotional stimuli, and a significantly reduced response to happy faces, especially happy male facial expressions (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that the menstrual cycle modulates early visual cognitive processing, and highlight the importance of considering the menstrual cycle phase in studies that investigate emotion and cognition.
Project description:Women are at substantially greater risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries than are men.To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to clarify the effect of the menstrual cycle and contraceptives on the laxity of and noncontact injuries to the ACL.Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.Searches were conducted using MEDLINE (1946-August 2016), the Cochrane Library Database, clinical trial registries, and related reference lists. Search terms included athletic injuries, knee injuries, ligaments, joint instability, menstrual cycle, ovulation, hormones, and contraceptives. Investigators independently dually abstracted and reviewed study details and quality using predefined criteria and evaluated overall strength of evidence using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria.Twenty-one studies totaling 68,758 participants were included: 5 on the menstrual cycle and ACL injury, 7 on hormonal contraceptives and ACL injury, as well as 13 on menstrual cycle and ligament laxity. Four of 5 studies of women not using hormonal contraception indicated that the luteal phase was the least associated with ACL injuries. The 2 largest and highest quality studies on hormonal contraceptives suggested that hormonal contraceptives may be protective against ACL injury. Six of 12 studies on ACL laxity provided quantitative data for meta-analysis, finding significantly increased laxity during the ovulatory phase compared with the follicular phase.The literature suggests an association between hormonal fluctuations and ACL injury. Recent studies have suggested that oral contraceptives may offer up to a 20% reduction in risk of injury. The literature on ACL injuries and the menstrual cycle has more than doubled over the past decade, permitting quantitative analysis for the first time. However, the overall strength of this evidence is low. Promising potential directions for future research include long-term observational studies with ongoing hormonal assays and large interventional trials of follicular suppression, including newer hormonal methods.
Project description:Recent research suggests that men find portraits of ovulatory women more attractive than photographs of the same women taken during the luteal phase. Only few studies have investigated whether the same is true for women. The ovulatory phase matters to men because women around ovulation are most likely to conceive, and might matter to women because fertile women might pose a reproductive threat. In an online study 160 women were shown face pairs, one of which was assimilated to the shape of a late follicular prototype and the other to a luteal prototype, and were asked to indicate which face they found more attractive. A further 60 women were tested in the laboratory using a similar procedure. In addition to choosing the more attractive face, these participants were asked which woman would be more likely to steal their own date. Because gonadal hormones influence competitive behaviour, we also examined whether oestradiol, testosterone and progesterone levels predict women's choices. The women found neither the late follicular nor the luteal version more attractive. However, naturally cycling women with higher oestradiol levels were more likely to choose the ovulatory woman as the one who would entice their date than women with lower oestradiol levels. These results imply a role of oestradiol when evaluating other women who are competing for reproduction.
Project description:Hormonal transitions across the menstrual cycle may modulate human reward processing and reinforcement learning, but previous results were contradictory. Studies assessed relatively small samples (n < 30) and exclusively used within-subject designs to compare women in hormonally distinct menstrual cycle phases. This increased the risk of sporadic findings and results may have been disproportionally affected by expectancy effects. Also, replication studies are widely missing, which currently precludes any reliable inferences. The present study was intended as a conceptual replication of a previous study [(1), Neuropsychologia 84; n = 15]. There, we had observed a reduction in avoidance learning capacity when women were in the high estradiol state of the late follicular phase as compared to the mid luteal phase with enhanced progesterone influence. These results conformed to the idea that estradiol and progesterone may antagonistically modulate dopaminergic transmission as a dopamine agonist and antagonist, respectively. Heightened progesterone in the luteal phase thereby supported the ability to learn from the negative outcomes of one's actions, while the follicular rise in estradiol interfered with this capacity. Here, we re-examined the above described within-subject difference between the follicular and the luteal phase in a between-subjects design. Seventy-five women were tested once with a probabilistic feedback learning task, while being either in the follicular (36 women) or luteal phase (39 women), and were compared for phase-related differences in behavior. Secondly, we combined the new data with data from three previous studies from our laboratory that used the same task and menstrual cycle phases. This meta-analysis included only data from the first test day, free of any biasing expectancy effects. Both analyses demonstrated the consistency of the decline in avoidance learning in the follicular relative to the luteal phase. We also showed that this decline reliably occurred in all of the included samples. Altogether, these results provide evidence for the consistency of a behavioral difference and its apparent association with a transient change in hormonal state that occurs in the natural menstrual cycle. Our findings may also open new avenues for the development of reliable between-subjects test protocols in menstrual cycle research.