Menstrual Cycle Affects Hemodynamic Response to Tracheal Intubation

NewsWise

Released: 8/2/2010 11:00 AM EDT
Source: International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)

Women May Want to Time Surgery According to Menstrual Cycle

In women undergoing surgery, the heart rate and blood pressure response to ventilation tube placement varies at different times of the menstrual cycle, according to a study in the August issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

Tracheal intubation – passing a breathing tube into the trachea (“windpipe”) – is among the most unpleasant and stressful experiences for a patient undergoing anesthesia and surgery. Anesthesiologists typically wait until the patient is unconscious before passing the breathing tube into the trachea, so that the patient is oblivious. Still, the body notices. Tracheal intubation is often accompanied by a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, the body’s hemodynamic response to the very unpleasant stimulation from the breathing tube.

The hemodynamic response to tracheal intubation appears greater during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, when hormone levels are higher. This suggests that, when possible, it might be best to schedule surgery for soon after a woman’s menstrual period—in the follicular phase, when hormone levels are lower.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.