The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of the menstrual cycle and menopause on extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)-related pain outcome. Since March 2017, we evaluated a total of 145 women who underwent the first session of ESWL for renal or ureteral stones. Patients were divided into two groups, as menstruating and menopaused women. For menstruating women, the number of days between the last day of mens and ESWL was noted and women were separated as in the follicular phase (1–14 days) or in the luteal phase (15–30 days) of menstruation. To control these two female groups, 149 men of similar age were included in the study. After the procedure, the experienced pain was recorded on a ten-point visual analog scale (VAS) by the patient and they also rated the severity of pain as no, mild, tolerable, and intolerable on the pain questionnaire. The mean age of the patients was 43 ± 15 years for the female group and 42 ± 13 years for the male group. While stone burden was not different between the female and male groups (p = 0.459), VAS score was not statistically different between genders (p = 0.293). However, men reported a higher rate of mild pain, while women reported a higher rate of tolerable pain (p = 0.008) in the pain questionnaire. Mean VAS score was significantly lower for the menopaused women group than menstruating women, young and old men (p = 0.001). In a subgroup analysis, menopaused women group reported lower VAS score and better pain questionnaire result than menstruating women (p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between the follicular and luteal phase of the menstrual cycle in terms of mean VAS score and pain questionnaire results (p = 0.891 and 0.441, respectively). When compared with the young men group, the only significant difference was pain questionnaire results between women in the luteal phase (p = 0.014). Multiple regression analysis showed that only menstruation (β = 0.639, p < 0.001) was an independent factor for VAS score. Menstrual cycle phase had no effect on pain perception during the ESWL session and menopaused women felt less pain than menstruating women during this procedure. The control male group showed that the reduction of ESWL-related pain in menopause was not related to aging.
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The authors would like to thank Dr.Basak Oguz and appreciate her support for the statistical analysis of this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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