Abstract: Menstrual cycle influences on pain and emotion in women with fibromyalgia

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J Psychosom Res. 2004 Nov;57(5):451-8. Alonso C, Loevinger BL, Muller D, Coe CL. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706-1696, United States.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the influence of the menstrual cycle on pain and emotion in women with fibromyalgia (FM) as compared with women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to healthy controls.

METHOD:  One hundred and twenty-five premenopausal women (21-45 years old) participated in this study (57 with FM, 20 with RA, and 48 controls). Pain and emotion assessments were conducted during the follicular and the luteal phases of the menstrual cycle.

RESULTS: Women with FM experienced more pain, menstrual symptoms, and negative affect than did women with RA and the controls. All women reported less positive affect during the luteal phase, although this pattern was more pronounced in women with FM and RA than in controls.

CONCLUSION: Although FM pain did not vary across the menstrual cycle, these results point to the importance of considering the lower level and cyclical nature of positive affect when studying women with chronic pain. PMID: 15581648 [PubMed – in process]

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