J Natl Med Assoc 2020 Aug 3. Epub 2020 Aug 3.
Psychology Department, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, USA; North Carolina Central University Integrated Health and Wellness Clinic, Durham, NC, USA.
Objective: We evaluated the effects of menstrual types inclusive of PMS on reports of chronic pain intensity and psychopathology in twenty-eight women (mean age 38.93 ± 13.51) with Sickle Cell disease (SCD).
Methods: Using the Menstrual Symptoms Questionnaire, we compared women with PMS to those with less distressing spasmodic cycle types.
Results: Thirty-four percent of the sample used oral contraception; there were no significant effects of birth control use on reports of pain. Women with PMS characterized the sensory (p = .04) and affective (p = .04) experiences of their SCD-related chronic pain, including their current pain intensity (p = .03), as significantly greater than women with primary spasmodic menstrual type. Further, there was a trend towards significance for women with PMS to report greater levels of overall pain intensity (p = .07) and average pain intensity over the past month (p = .08).
Conclusions: The authors interpret these results to suggest that there may be a complex interaction of neurohormonal, biological, and psychological factors associated with PMS that influence manifestation and experience of chronic pain in patients with SCD.