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.