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.
Cortisol, 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 both progesterone (p = 0.002) and testosterone (p = 0.015) were significantly and inversely correlated with pain severity. There was no relationship between estradiol and pain (p = 0.551) or cortisol and pain (p = 0.633).
These results suggest that progesterone and testosterone play a protective role in fibromyalgia pain severity. Sex and other hormones may serve to both increase and decrease fibromyalgia pain severity.
Full text here: http://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(17)30804-0/fulltext