Premenstrual symptoms are associated with psychological and physical symptoms in early pregnancy
- First Online:
- 312 Downloads
The reproductive life of women is characterised by a number of distinct reproductive events and phases (e.g. premenstrual phase, peripartum, perimenopause). The hormonal transitions during these phases are often associated with both psychological and physical symptoms. Associations between these reproductive phases have been shown by numerous studies. However, the relationship between symptoms during the premenstrual phase and during early pregnancy has received little attention thus far, although early pregnancy is a time of dramatic hormonal as well as physical adaptation. Findings are based on a prospective longitudinal study with N = 306 pregnant women (MARI study). Three hundred five women that had menstrual bleeding in the year before pregnancy rated the severity of psychological and physical symptoms during premenstrual phases in the year preceding pregnancy. Besides this, they rated the severity of the same symptoms during early pregnancy (weeks 10 to 12 of gestation). The overall severity of premenstrual symptoms was significantly associated with the overall severity of early pregnancy symptoms (b = 0.4, 95 % CI = 0.3–0.5; p < 0.001). The overall severity of early pregnancy symptoms was best predicted by the severity of premenstrual irritability. The best predictor for a particular symptom in early pregnancy mostly was the corresponding premenstrual symptom. The associations between premenstrual and early pregnancy symptoms support the reproductive hormone sensitivity hypothesis that some women are prone to repeatedly experience specific psychological and physical symptoms during different reproductive phases. The findings further imply that the nature of symptoms might be rather consistent between different reproductive phases.