The Menstrual Cycle as a Vital Sign: Resources and References

Camille Freeman, LDN, RH

Thank you for attending my presentation at the 2021 Conference of the American Herbalists Guild!

I hope you found the presentation helpful. Below, you'll find links to the resources I mentioned, as well as a list of references and a copy of the slides. If you notice that I've forgotten to add something, please let me know! 



Recommended resources


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ACOG Committee on Adolescent Health Care. (2006). ACOG Committee Opinion No. 349, November 2006: Menstruation in girls and adolescents: using the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 108(5), 1323–1328.

Bahamondes, L., & Ali, M. (2015). Recent advances in managing and understanding menstrual disorders. F1000Prime Reports, 7.

Baker, F. C., & Driver, H. S. (2007). Circadian rhythms, sleep, and the menstrual cycle. Sleep Medicine, 8(6), 613–622.

Bryant, R. A., Felmingham, K. L., Silove, D., Creamer, M., O’Donnell, M., & McFarlane, A. C. (2011). The association between menstrual cycle and traumatic memories. Journal of Affective Disorders, 131(1–3), 398–401.

Gore, A. C., Chappell, V. A., Fenton, S. E., Flaws, J. A., Nadal, A., Prins, G. S., Toppari, J., & Zoeller, R. T. (2015). EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. Endocrine Reviews, 36(6), E1–E150.

Hammer, K. C., Veiga, A., & Mahalingaiah, S. (2020). Environmental toxicant exposure and menstrual cycle length. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity, 27(6), 373–379.

Hawkins, S. M., & Matzuk, M. M. (2008). Menstrual Cycle: Basic Biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1135, 10–18.

Howards, P. P., Terrell, M. L., Jacobson, M. H., Taylor, K. C., Kesner, J. S., Meadows, J. W., Spencer, J. B., Manatunga, A. K., & Marcus, M. (2019). Polybrominated Biphenyl Exposure and Menstrual Cycle Function. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 30(5), 687–694.

Jacobs, M. B., Boynton-Jarrett, R. D., & Harville, E. W. (2015). Adverse childhood event experiences, fertility difficulties, and menstrual cycle characteristics. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 36(2), 46–57.

Joseph, D. N., & Whirledge, S. (2017). Stress and the HPA Axis: Balancing Homeostasis and Fertility. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(10).

Jukic, A. M., Calafat, A. M., McConnaughey, D. R., Longnecker, M. P., Hoppin, J. A., Weinberg, C. R., Wilcox, A. J., & Baird, D. D. (2016). Urinary Concentrations of Phthalate Metabolites and Bisphenol A and Associations with Follicular-Phase Length, Luteal-Phase Length, Fecundability, and Early Pregnancy Loss. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(3), 321–328.

Lawson, C. C., Whelan, E. A., Lividoti Hibert, E. N., Spiegelman, D., Schernhammer, E. S., & Rich-Edwards, J. W. (2011). Rotating shift work and menstrual cycle characteristics. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 22(3), 305–312.

Maleki-Saghooni, N., Amirian, M., Sadeghi, R., & Latifnejad Roudsari, R. (2017). Effectiveness of infertility counseling on pregnancy rate in infertile patients undergoing assisted reproductive technologies: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine, 15(7), 391–402.

Nillni, Y. I., Pineles, S. L., Patton, S. C., Rouse, M. H., Sawyer, A. T., & Rasmusson, A. M. (2015). Menstrual cycle effects on psychological symptoms in women with PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28(1), 1–7.

Palomba, S., Daolio, J., Romeo, S., Battaglia, F. A., Marci, R., & La Sala, G. B. (2018). Lifestyle and fertility: The influence of stress and quality of life on female fertility. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology : RB&E, 16, 113.

Park, S., & Chung, C. (2021). Effects of a dietary modification intervention on menstrual pain and urinary BPA levels: A single group clinical trial. BMC Women’s Health, 21, 58.

Plunk, E. C., & Richards, S. M. (2020). Endocrine-Disrupting Air Pollutants and Their Effects on the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(23), 9191.

Rahman, S. A., Grant, L. K., Gooley, J. J., Rajaratnam, S. M. W., Czeisler, C. A., & Lockley, S. W. (2019). Endogenous Circadian Regulation of Female Reproductive Hormones. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 104(12), 6049–6059.

Ravi, M., Stevens, J. S., & Michopoulos, V. (2019). Neuroendocrine pathways underlying risk and resilience to PTSD in women. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 55, 100790.

Saei Ghare Naz, M., Rostami Dovom, M., & Ramezani Tehrani, F. (2020). The Menstrual Disturbances in Endocrine Disorders: A Narrative Review. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 18(4), e106694.

Sargis, R. M., Heindel, J. J., & Padmanabhan, V. (2019). Interventions to Address Environmental Metabolism-Disrupting Chemicals: Changing the Narrative to Empower Action to Restore Metabolic Health. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 10.

Sciarra, F., Franceschini, E., Campolo, F., Gianfrilli, D., Pallotti, F., Paoli, D., Isidori, A. M., & Venneri, M. A. (2020). Disruption of Circadian Rhythms: A Crucial Factor in the Etiology of Infertility. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(11), 3943.

Seligowski, A. V., Harnett, N. G., Merker, J. B., & Ressler, K. J. (2020). Nervous and Endocrine System Dysfunction in Posttraumatic Stress: An Overview and Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable. Biological Psychiatry. Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 5(4), 381–391.

Shao, S., Zhao, H., Lu, Z., Lei, X., & Zhang, Y. (2021). Circadian Rhythms Within the Female HPG Axis: From Physiology to Etiology. Endocrinology, 162(8), bqab117.

Simionescu, G., Doroftei, B., Maftei, R., Obreja, B.-E., Anton, E., Grab, D., Ilea, C., & Anton, C. (2021). The complex relationship between infertility and psychological distress (Review). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 21(4), 306.

Stocker, L. J., Macklon, N. S., Cheong, Y. C., & Bewley, S. J. (2014). Influence of shift work on early reproductive outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 124(1), 99–110.

Tarín, J. J., Hamatani, T., & Cano, A. (2010). Acute stress may induce ovulation in women. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology : RB&E, 8, 53.

Willis, S. K., Hatch, E. E., & Wise, L. A. (2019). Sleep and female reproduction. Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 31(4), 222–227.

Yang, M., Lee, H.-S., Hwang, M.-W., & Jin, M. (2014). Effects of Korean red ginseng (Panax Ginseng Meyer) on bisphenol A exposure and gynecologic complaints: Single blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14, 265.


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