Reproductive endocrinologyMind over matter: psychological factors and the menstrual cycleEdozien, Leroy C Author Information St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK Correspondence to Leroy C Edozien, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester M13 0JH, UK Tel: +44 0161 276 6243; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: August 2006 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 452-456 doi: 10.1097/01.gco.0000233942.67049.ad Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Increasingly, gynaecologists are becoming aware of the impact of psychosocial factors on women's health generally, and on the menstrual cycle in particular. This review highlights developments in this field in the last triennium. Recent findings Stress impairs the ovarian cycle through activation of the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis. The effect of psychological stress on the menstrual cycle is mediated by metabolic factors. Stress-induced impairment of ovarian function may not necessarily manifest as menstrual irregularity, and the effects of stress may persist beyond the cycle in which the stress episode occurred. Response to stress may be determined not so much by the nature of the stress as by the intrinsic neuronal attributes of the individual. Summary Interventions to address underlying stress should be part of the management regime for women with menstrual cycle abnormalities. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.