Influence of the menstrual cycle on the sweating response measured by direct calorimetry in women exposed to warm environmental conditions

  • Ph. Frascarolo
  • Y. Schutz
  • E. Jéquier


The whole body sweating response was measured at rest in eight women during the follicular (F) and the luteal (L) phases of the menstrual cycle. Subjects were exposed for 30-min to neutral (N) environmental conditions [ambient temperature (Ta) 28°C] and then for 90-min to warm (W) environmental conditions (Ta, 35°C) in a direct calorimeter. At the end of the N exposure, tympanic temperature (Tty) was 0.18 (SEM 0.06)°C higher in the L than in the F phase (P<0.05), whereas mean skin temperature (\(\bar T_{{\text{sk}}}\)) was unchanged. During W exposure, the time to the onset of sweating as well as the concomitant increase in body heat content were similar in both phases. At the onset of sweating, the tympanic threshold temperature (Tty, thresh) was higher in the L phase [37.18 (SEM 0.08)°C] than in the F phase [36.95 (SEM 0.07)°C;P<0.01]. The magnitude of the shift inTty, thresh [0.23 (SEM 0.07)°C] was similar to the L-F difference inTty observed at the end of the N exposure. The mean skin threshold temperature was not statistically different between the two phases. The slope of the relationship between sweating rate andTty was similar in F and L. It was concluded that the internal set point temperature of resting women exposed to warm environmental conditions shifted to a higher value during the L phase compared to the F phase of the menstrual cycle; and that the magnitude of the shift corresponded to the difference in internal temperature observed in neutral environmental conditions between the two phases.

Key words

Menstrual cycle Sweating Body temperature Thermoregulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ph. Frascarolo
    • 1
  • Y. Schutz
    • 1
  • E. Jéquier
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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