Does pain perception vary across the reproductive life or with the use of HRT in postmenopausal women?
Shikha Gautam, Nilima Shankar, O.P.Tandon, Neerja Goel
Dr. Shikha Gautam,
Senior Demonstrator, Dept of Physiology
UCMS & GTB Hospital,
Dilshad Garden, Delhi– 110095, India.
Recent clinical research has suggested that ovarian hormones may influence pain perception among women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) supplements exogenous ovarian hormones to postmenopausal women.
This study was designed to see whether the pain perception, which was induced by the cold pressor test, varied with the gonadal hormone fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, postmenopausal hormone depletion or HRT in postmenopausal women.
This study included 90 adult female subjects from similar socio-economic backgrounds in 3 study groups, Group 1 (n=30): Pre-menopausal women in the age group of 30 to 45 years, Group 2 (n=30): Post-menopausal women in the age group of 45 to 55 years and Group 3 (n=30): Post-menopausal women in the age group of 45 to 55 years on HRT, who were on oral HRT.
The pain perception was assessed by the cold pressor test.
It was done by using SPSS-13 for Windows and one-way ANOVA, followed by Tukey's test at a 5% level of significance.
The pain threshold and pain tolerance was significantly higher in post-menopausal women as compared to the pre-menopausal women in the proliferative phase. In pre-menopausal women, the pain threshold and pain tolerance was significantly higher in the secretory phase as compared to the proliferative phase. The pain threshold and pain tolerance were significantly lower in post-menopausal women who were on HRT as compared to the other post-menopausal women.
The present study provides evidence that the pain responses vary across the reproductive cycle and with the use of HRT in post-menopausal women.
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