Assessment of pain perception and pressure threshold for pain changes during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Suzanne D'Agati

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Alma Abdel-Moty

Third Advisor's Name

Karl John Klose

Date of Defense



This study examined the differences in pain perception and pain pressure threshold between the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle and the days of the cycle which are not menstrual or premenstrual. Over 2 complete menstrual cycles, 20 volunteer subjects with no known disabilities or illness reported pain assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS) and pressure threshold measures collected 5 times (intervals) for each cycle. A two-factor repeated measures analysis of variance (i.e. cycle, interval and the interaction) revealed only a significant difference across interval for both pain perception (VAS) (F = 15.3146, (4,76), p < .01), and pain pressure threshold (F = 12.0367, (4,76), p < .01). The premenstrual VAS mean scores were significantly higher and pain threshold mean scores significantly lower than the means during the remainder of the cycle in Tukey "A" post-test comparisons. Findings indicate therapists should consider pain perception and potential motivational changes of women during the premenstruum when developing or instituting physically demanding protocols.



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