Clinical and psychometric features of psychiatric patients after a suicide attempt in relation with menstrual cycle phases


There is evidence that frequency of suicide attempts of fertile women is related to the menstrual cycle phases, while the influence of hormonal and psychiatric features has been hypothesized. This study aims to explore the distribution and possible differences in clinical characteristics of women who attempted suicide in relation to menstrual cycle. Seventy fertile female psychiatric patients, hospitalized in psychiatric department after a suicide attempt, were studied. Depression was assessed using Beck Depression Inventory, suicide intent with the Suicide Intent Scale, and aggression using the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire. A profile of psychopathology was obtained by using Symptom Check List SCL-90-R. Attempts were more frequent during the last 4 days of luteal phase and during the 4 days of menses, with 59% of attempts to occur during these 8 days. Patterns of number of attempts and cycle phase were similar for subgroups regarding diagnosis, violent/non-violent mode of suicide attempt, and one or repeated attempts. Although attempts were unequally distributed during the cycle, none of the psychiatric features assessed in the present study were related to the higher frequency of attempts during premenstrual/menstrual days, indicating the need to include additional aspects of suicidal behavior in future studies.

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Correspondence to Athanasia Papadopoulou.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Papadopoulou, A., Efstathiou, V., Christodoulou, C. et al. Clinical and psychometric features of psychiatric patients after a suicide attempt in relation with menstrual cycle phases. Arch Womens Ment Health 22, 605–611 (2019).

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  • Suicide attempt
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Depression
  • Suicide intent
  • Aggression
  • Violence