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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1992 May-Jul;17(2-3):195-204.

Serum levels of androgens are higher in women with premenstrual irritability and dysphoria than in controls.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


Serum levels of progesterone, total testosterone, free testosterone, androstenedione (A2), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), 17-OH-progesterone (17-OHP), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were measured in the follicular phase, around ovulation, and in the luteal phase of 11 women with severe premenstrual irritability and dysphoria and in 11 age-matched controls with no premenstrual complaints. Serum levels of free testosterone were significantly higher in the subjects with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) than in the controls in the luteal phase (p < 0.01), the follicular phase (p < 0.05), and around ovulation (p < 0.01). DHEA levels were significantly higher in the PMS subjects, as compared to controls, around ovulation (p < 0.05), while 17-OHP levels were higher in the PMS women in the luteal phase (p < 0.05). With respect to the other steroids measured, as well as SHBG, no differences between PMS subjects and controls were found. These results indicate a possible involvement of androgens in the pathophysiology of premenstrual irritability and dysphoria.

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