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Womens Health Issues. 2008 Jul-Aug;18(4):328-35. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 May 15.

Susceptibility to nausea and motion sickness as a function of the menstrual cycle.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16601, USA. rlm191@psu.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The present study examined whether susceptibility to nausea and other symptoms of vection-induced motion sickness vary as a function of phase of the menstrual cycle, as research findings in this area are sparse and contradictory.

DESIGN:

Ninety young women (42 current users of oral contraceptives) were exposed to a rotating optokinetic drum during the peri-menses or peri-ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle in an independent-groups, quasi-experimental design. Nausea and motion sickness symptoms were assessed using the Nausea Profile (NP) and the Subjective Symptoms of Motion Sickness (SSMS) questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Among women not on oral contraceptives, reports of nausea and motion sickness by women in the peri-menses phase were more severe than reports by women in the peri-ovulatory phase. By contrast, among women taking oral contraceptives, reports of nausea and motion sickness did not differ by the same categorical phase of the menstrual cycle.

CONCLUSIONS:

We speculate that fluctuating estrogen levels over the course of the menstrual cycle may influence the experience of or susceptibility to nausea and motion sickness during illusory self-motion and other nauseogenic contexts.

PMID:
18485739
PMCID:
PMC2525506
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2008.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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