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Title: Variations in subjective state over the oral contraceptive pill cycle : the influence of endogenous steroids and temporal manipulations
Author: McNeill, Erin Talbot
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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Many biological systems vary rhythmically in response to changes in both the external and internal environment. Some rhythms, such as the menstrual cycle in women, are built into the organism and repeat themselves over time without any support from external factors. It has been acknowledged for a long time that in addition to the predictable changes in steroid hormones that occur over the menstrual cycle, many women also experience concomitant changes in their physical and emotional well being. Most of the literature concentrates on the fact that negative moods and physical changes seem to occur predominantly before and during menstruation. Given the close temporal relationship of these changes to the timing of the steroid cycle, causal mechanisms have traditionally been sought in the hormonal changes themselves. Yet the literature reveals that no causal role has consistently been found for any of a large number of hormonal parameters that change over the menstrual cycle. Further, there is good evidence that variations in well being of a similar magnitude, and with similar timing occur during the combined oral contraceptive pill cycle. This thesis is concerned with exploring the aetiology of cycle-related change in emotional and physical well being during oral contraceptive use. Its two fundamental objectives are 1) to clarify why women taking the pill have similar experiences to women with hormonally distinct, menstrual cycles, and 2) to test a novel aetiological hypothesis with women taking the pill that there exists an endogenous rhythm of well being that is coupled to, but not caused by cyclical hormones. This knowledge may help us to understand better the phenomenology of the 'normal' cycle. The role of social factors in the expression of cycle-related change is just as poorly understood as the complex influence of biological factors. Thus a third portion of this thesis is devoted to exploring the nature of women's beliefs about their cycles, and investigating how they may 'translate' in their experience and reporting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available