Menstrual Cycle Dysphonia
The Efficacy of PMS Self-Help Methods in the Alleviation of Premenstrual Vocal Cord Syndrome Symptoms
by Dr. Karen Wicklund, July 2, 2000
NATS National Convention, Philadelphia
IMPORTANT: The information contained in this presentation is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body, and the authors, sponsoring organization, publisher, printer(s), and distributor(s) accept no responsibility for such use. Those individuals suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult their physician.
Some studies regarding female singers have reported that their vocal abilities can be adversely affected just prior to the time of menstruation (Abramson et al. and Brown and Hollien). In addition, otolaryngologists have reported cases of alterations in the appearance of the vocal folds of singers just prior to the onset of menstruation (Abitbol, Brodnitz, Frable, and Davis and Davis). In some opera performer's contracts, "grace days" actually permit the performer to refrain from singing during the premenstrual cycle. This paper will review some of the current literature regarding the phenomenon of menstrual dysphonia, and then will look at the efficacy of various self-help methods in premenstrual syndrome treatment of singers.
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Abramson, A.L., B.M. Steinberg, W.J. Gould, E. Bianco, P. Kennedy, and R. Stock. (1984) "Estrogen receptors in the human larynx: clinical study of the singing voice." In : Lawrence, V.L. ed. Transcripts of the thirteenth symposium on care of the professional voice. New York: The Voice Foundation: 409-13.
Brodnitz, F.S. (1971)"Hormones and the human voice." Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 47: 183-191.
Brown, W.S. and Hollien, H. (1983). Effects of menstruation on the singing voice, Part I: History and current status. In Lawrence, V.L. (ed.) Transcripts of the twelfth symposium on care of the professional voice. New York: The Voice Foundation, 112-116.
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Coleman, R. (1969). Effect of median frequency levels upon the roughness of jittered stimuli," Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 12, 330-336.
Davis, C., and M. Davis. (1993) "The effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on the female singer." Journal of Voice 7: 4: 337-353.
Day, C.S. (1982). Effects of menstruation on the singing range and fundamental frequency of female singers. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Florida.
Fairbanks, F. (1960). Voice and Articulation. New York: Harper and Row.
Frable, M. (1962) "Hoarseness, a symptom of premenstrual tension." Archives of Otolaryngology, 75: 80-82.
Golay, P. (1981). Effects of menstruation on fundamental frequency of female voices. Unpublished master's thesis, Univeristy of Florida.
Higgins, M.B. and Saxman, J.H. (1989). Variations in vocal frequency perturbation across the menstrual cycle. Journal of Voice 3 (3): 233- 243.
Human Nutrition Information Service (1992). The Food Guide Pyramid, Bulletin No. 252. Hyattsville, Maryland: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture: 2-3.
Lark, Susan. (1984). PMS Self-Help Book. Los Angeles: Forman Publishing
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Sundberg, Johann. (1970). Formant structure and articulation of spoken and sung Vowels," Folia Phoniatrica 22, 28-48.
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