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The association between menstrual cycle and traumatic memories


Bryant, RA and Felmingham, KL and Silove, D and Creamer, M and O'Donnell, M and McFarlane, AC, The association between menstrual cycle and traumatic memories, Journal of Affective Disorders, 131, (1-3) pp. 398-401. ISSN 0165-0327 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. The definitive version is available at

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jad.2010.10.049


Background: Women in the mid-luteal phase of the menstrual cycle have been shown to have stronger emotional memories than other women. We investigated the extent to which experiencing a traumatic event during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is associated with stronger traumatic flashback memories. Methods: Consecutive female patients admitted to hospital after traumatic injury (n=138) were assessed for days since last menstruation, as well as assessment of flashbacks. Twenty three (17%) women were in the mid-luteal phase (18–24) days at the time of trauma exposure and 29 (21%) were in the mid-luteal phase at the time of assessment. Results: Women were more likely to experience flashback memories if they were in the luteal phase during the trauma (22% vs. 9%), adjusted OR: 3.64 [95%CI: 0.99–13.29] after controlling for injury severity, age, trauma type, and mild traumatic brain injury. Women in the luteal phase at assessmentwere 4.89 timesmore likely to have flashbacks. AdjustedOR: 4.89 [95%CI: 1.39–17.86]. Conclusions: Increased glucocorticoid release associated with the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle may facilitate consolidation of trauma memories.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Posttraumatic stress disorder, Flashback, Trauma memory, Menstrual, Glucocorticoid
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:71906
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:58
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2011-08-12
Last Modified:2014-11-27
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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