The Relationship

The relationship between a mother’s menstrual status and her response to illness in her child. Psychosomatic Medicine, Sept.-Oct. 1975, Vol. 37, Number 5.

Abstract: From over 1500 women who brought children to the Los Angeles County–U.S.C. Pediatric Outpatient Department during a 1 month period, 140 were randomly selected and interviewed to determine whether a woman’s menstrual status (her position within the menstrual cycle) affects the way she responds to illness in her child. The study found that paramenstrual women (those who were about to have or who were having their period) were more apt to bring their children to the Pediatric OPD than women between periods (intermenstrual women). Children brought in by paramenstrual women were considered to be less sick, to be suffering from different types of illnesses, and to have been sick for a shorter period of time than children brought in by intermenstrual women. The study presents evidence suggesting that paramenstrual and intermenstrual women have different motivations for bringing their children to the doctor.