Daily fluctuations of progesterone and testosterone are associated with fibromyalgia pain severity

Meredith Marie Schertzinger, Kate Wesson-Sides, Luke Parkitny, Jarred Younger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this longitudinal blood sampling study was to examine relationships between sex hormones and fibromyalgia pain. Eight women meeting case definition criteria for fibromyalgia provided venous blood samples and reported their fibromyalgia pain severity over 25 consecutive days. All women exhibited normal menstrual cycles and were not taking oral contraceptives. Corti- sol, and the sex hormones estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, were assayed from serum. A linear mixed model was used to determine if fluctuations of sex hormones were associated with changes in pain severity. In the entire sample, day to day changes in progesterone (P = .002) as well as tes- tosterone (P = .015) were significantly and inversely correlated with pain severity. There was no relationship between estradiol and pain (P = .551) or cortisol and pain (P = .633). These results suggest that progesterone and testosterone play a protective role in fibromyalgia pain severity. Sex and other hormones may serve to increase as well as decrease fibromyalgia pain severity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-417
JournalThe Journal of Pain
Issue number4
Early online date14 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pain
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Longitudinal


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