Association between female hormonal factors and oro-facial pain: study in the community

T V Macfarlane, A S Blinkhorn, R M Davies, J Kincey, H V Worthington
Pain 2002, 97 (1): 5-10
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the prevalence of oro-facial pain (OFP) in the population and female hormonal factors. The cross-sectional population study was conducted in a general medical practice in the north-west of England. A random sample of 4000 adults aged 18-65 years were mailed questionnaires, of whom 2504 responded (adjusted participation rate 74%). Of these 1245 women provided information on both OFP and hormonal factors. For pre- or peri-menopausal women, there was no relationship between oral contraceptive use and OFP (age-adjusted relative risk (RR) 1.10; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81, 1.45), whilst a high score on a pre-menstrual symptom questionnaire was associated with an age-adjusted RR of 1.87 (95% CI 1.36, 2.57). Those who reported menstruating for 6 days or longer had moderate increase in risk of OFP (age-adjusted RR 1.39; 95% CI 1.01, 1.91). In post-menopausal women, there was a moderate relationship between hormone replacement therapy use and OFP (age-adjusted RR 1.46; 95% CI 1.02, 2.08). For women overall, there was an increased risk of OFP in those who reported ever having had painful periods (age-adjusted RR 1.47; 95% CI 1.20, 1.80), but no association was found with the number of children. This cross-sectional community-based study adds important information on the relationship between female hormonal factors and OFP. Women who report OFP are more likely to report symptoms associated with menstruation. This may indicate either the importance of hormones per se or identify a group of women who are more likely to report symptoms in general.

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