• Menstrual cycle;
  • Estradiol;
  • Progesterone;
  • Stress reactivity;
  • Catecholamines;
  • Hemodynamics;
  • Cortisol;
  • Blood pressure;
  • Heart rate


This study examined the association of menstrual cycle phase with stress reactivity as well as the hormonal and neuroendocrine mechanisms contributing to cycle effects. Fifty-seven women underwent a modified Trier Social Stress Test during the early follicular, late follicular, and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Greater increases in cardiac index (CI) and greater decreases in vascular resistance index (VRI) during speech were observed in the luteal phase relative to other phases, while greater increases in epinephrine (EPI) was observed during the late follicular and luteal phases compared to the early follicular phase. Luteal phase estradiol predicted luteal EPI reactivity but not CI or VRI reactivity, while luteal phase EPI reactivity predicted luteal phase CI and VRI reactivity. Thus, cycle-related changes in EPI reactivity may be a stronger determinant of cycle effects on hemodynamic reactivity than sex hormones per se.