Menstrual Cycle, Vocal Performance, and Laryngeal Vascular Appearance: An Observational Study on 17 Subjects

Hagit Shoffel-Havakuk, Narin N. Carmel-Neiderman, Doron Halperin, Yael Shapira Galitz, Dan Levin, Yaara Haimovich, Oded Cohen, Jean Abitbol, Yonatan Lahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To assess the anatomical and functional features of the vocal folds during different phases of the female menstrual cycle. Methods: An observational study of 17 healthy fertile female volunteers not using hormonal contraception was carried out. Each volunteer underwent two examinations: first, during the early days of the menstrual cycle when progesterone levels are low (p-depletion), and second, during premenstruation when progesterone levels are high (p-peak). The workup included blood hormone levels, Voice Handicap Index, acoustic analysis, rigid telescopy, stroboscopy, and narrow band imaging. The videos were evaluated by blinded observers. Results: The participants’ mean age was 31.7 ± 5.6 (range 23–43). Progesterone levels were 13- to 45-fold higher in p-peak relative to p-depletion. No significant differences were detected in Voice Handicap Index scores, stroboscopic reports, or acoustic analysis between p-peak and p-depletion examinations. Analyzing the rigid telescopy and narrow band imaging videos, the observers tended to estimate the different laryngeal subsites more vascularized during the p-peak examination. Moreover, this tendency was significantly correlated with blood progesterone levels during the p-depletion examinations; the lower the blood progesterone levels were during p-depletion, the higher the probability for the observers to estimate the p-peak examinations more vascularized (P value = 0.024). Conclusions: Alterations in laryngeal vascular characteristics are evident throughout the menstrual cycle and may suggest increased congestion during premenstrual days. Variations in progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle correlate with laryngeal vascular changes. Hormone-related alterations in vocal folds’ vascularity may have a role in the variability of vocal performance in certain women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Voice
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Narrow band imaging
  • Premenstrual dysphonia
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Sex hormones

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