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Evaluation of the parasympathetic neural outflow to the heart during different phases of menstrual cycle as assessed by heart rate variability: a cross-sectional study

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum-590010, Karnataka, India
  • 2Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum-590010, Karnataka, India

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 5, Issue (5), Pages 1-7, August,28 (2017)


Decrease in parasympathetic neural activity has been a predictor for development of diseases like cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension etc., measuring the vagal outflow in humans using invasive techniques is difficult which has paved way for Heart rate variability (HRV) which is anoninvasive tool for assessing periodic and non-periodic variations in HR which in women is affected by endogenoussex hormones. The aim was to compare the cardiac parasympathetic tone during follicular and luteal phases of menstrual cycle using the frequency and time domain parameters of HRV. Thirty female students aged 17-20 years were subjected to ECG recording which was fractionated analogally into Time and Frequency Domain Analysis during follicular and luteal phases of menstrual cycle. Data was analyzed statistically using studentís pair t-test. The difference in Mean HR, Rmssd, NN5o, pNN50 and HF nu was found to be statistically significant in follicular and luteal phase. Estrogen during the follicular phase of menstrual cycle promotes vagal outflow while the Progesterone during the luteal phase promotes sympathetic activity hence we conclude that the sex hormones during menstrual cycle interact with ANS affecting the regulation of the heart.


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