Care of the Voice: Pre-Menstrual Vocal Syndrome
Women often experience discomfort as a result of the hormonal changes that occur during the premenstrual period. Commonly know as PMS, this syndrome can cause over 150 different symptoms of varying complexity. The tissues of the larynx have been shown to be hormone targets in much the same way that the tissues of the uterus/cervix are. This has lead to the development of a theory of Premenstrual Vocal Syndrome, which explains the symptoms that many women have experienced in their vocal use.
Pre-Menstrual Vocal Syndrome (PMVS)
- Larynx is an estrogen target; it is sensitive to hormonal changes
- Cervix and vocal fold tissue behave similarly in smear tests
PMVS - Symptoms and Effects:
- swelling of vocal fold from water retension
- vascular impairment of vocal muscle
- swelling of the subepithelial capillaries
- abdominal cramps undermine support
Please note that painkillers can increase bleeding (haemorraging) in the
vocal region (see Care: Injuries for more information
Never take hormone drugs for the voice as they can increase these symptoms.
PMS & PMVS
n.b. dysphonia is hoarseness
- In the premenstrual phase, the decrease in progesterone increases gastric mobility, causing gastric reflux and dysphonia.
- Some women have dysphonia during menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy or menopause due to endocrinological changes.
- If you are a PMS sufferer, then you have PMVS.
- But PMVS can exist without gynecological symptoms.
Back to The Journey of the Voice
More on Care of the Voice
Loads of information on PMS here, as part of this online medical resource.
A 'brochure' from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, this page will point out the typical reasons for going hoarse, and what to do about it.