Is there a link between TBI and menstrual cycle?
Short answer: Yes. Women frequently miss menstrual periods or experience total amenorrhea after TBI.
Long answer: Listen to this 30 minute podcast episode we recorded with the wonderful Amy Zellmer of Faces of TBI.
The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases: the first half is called the Follicular Phase and the second half is called the Luteal Phase.
“Women injured during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle, when progesterone concentration is high, had significantly lower Quality of Life and Health Index Scores than women injured during the follicular phase of their cycle or women taking oral contraceptives.” (1)
Cycling women seem to experience worse outcomes than men (as well as post-menopausal women) because they have a consistently low concentration of progesterone.
“One theory, referred to as the “withdrawal hypothesis,” postulates that TBI occurring in the setting of high progesterone (which is neuroprotective) results in a sudden progesterone decrease and worse outcomes compared with TBI occurring in the setting of low progesterone.” (1)
This information offers us solutions to support women through concussion recovery by addressing hormonal imbalances using supplementation and lifestyle modification.
If you haven’t addressed the hormonal component of your head injury, give us a call to discuss ordering an at-home test kit or to speak with one of our doctors regarding your symptoms.