Hysterectomy and the premenstrual syndrome
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study reviews the literature in two major areas of Premenstrual Syndrome research. Firstly, the literature on the Premenstrual Syndrome itself is reviewed with the focus on such issues as syndrome definition, symptomatology, methodological problems, and etiological theories. Also outlined here are the hormonal events of the menstrual cycle with a review of the literature on premenstrual symptoms in relation to the menstrual cycle. The general conclusion here is that this area of premenstrual syndrome research has yielded confusing and often inconclusive results. Further well controlled research seems needed here. Secondly, the literature on the more specific area of the Premenstrual Syndrome and hysterectomy is reviewed. Research into ovarian function and its methods of detection post hysterectomy is discussed, as is research into PHS and anovulation. The specific focus of this section is the review of the research of Backstrom, Boyle, and Baird (1981), and Beumont, Richards, and Gelder (1975) whose studies on PHS and hysterectomy have yielded contradictory results. It is concluded that both studies are beset with methodological problems making valid interpretation of their results difficult, and their application to clinical practice questionable. The aim of this study was to collect daily affective, somatic, and hormonal data from women who had undergone hysterectomy and who believed they experienced PHS. Ovarian function was determined by the calculation of urinary pregnanediol levels. Spectral analysis was used to analyse the significance of this data. Of the thirteen subjects who finally took part in this study, six showed significantly cycling mood and/or physical symptoms that were significantly related to the premenstrual phase of their cycle. The remaining seven subjects demonstrated significant cyclicity of mood and/or physical symptoms that were not related to their underlying hormonal cycle. It was concluded that there is some evidence to support the hypothesis that PHS can exist after hysterectomy, but more sophisticated research is suggested to further validate these findings.