1School of Human Nursing, University of Shiga Prefecture, Hikone, Shiga, Japan
2Graduate School of Health Sciences, University of Kobe, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
Background Several studies have demonstrated the associations between Premenstrual Syndrome and perceived stress, and no studies quantifying stress based on biochemical parameters have been conducted. Objectives The objective of this study was to examine the changes in biochemical parameters of stress and measured perceived stress during the menstrual cycle of women with premenstrual syndrome. Patients and Methods A longitudinal observational study was conducted in 2010 in the Kansai region of Japan. Thirteen women with premenstrual syndrome and 11 controls, all with regular menstrual cycles, participated in this study. Salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) and cortisol levels were measured as biochemical parameters, and scores on the Stress Check List KM (SCL-KM) (Cronbach’s α in this study ranged from 0.76 to 0.84) were used to indicate perceived stress through two complete menstrual cycles. Before stress measurements were taken, premenstrual, menstrual and postmenstrual phases were confirmed based on records of basal body temperature across two menstrual cycles. Data analysis was performed using the Student’s t-test, analysis of variance with repeated measures, and Pearson’s correlation coefficient, as appropriate. Results Both the postmenstrual S-IgA concentration and secretion rate were significantly lower in the group with premenstrual syndrome than in controls (P < 0.05). Premenstrual S-IgA concentrations were significantly higher than postmenstrual levels in the group with premenstrual syndrome (P < 0.05). No significant differences in cortisol levels were seen in either group during any phase. Premenstrual and postmenstrual phase SCL-KM scores were significantly higher in the group with premenstrual syndrome than in controls (P < 0.05). No significant changes in the SCL-KM scores were observed among menstrual cycle phases in either group. Postmenstrual S-IgA levels were negatively correlated with the SCL-KM score (P < 0.05). Conclusions The stress due to psychosomatic changes in the menstrual cycle is associated with premenstrual syndrome. Measures of S-IgA, rather than cortisol or subjective responses to stress, may be most closely associated with PMS.