Objectives: To determine the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on female menstrual and reproductive functioning and to examine the relationships between severity of injury, duration of amenorrhea, and TBI outcomes.
Design: Retrospective cohort survey.
Setting: Telephone interview.
Participants: Women (N=30; age range, 18-45y), between 1 and 3 years postinjury, who had completed inpatient rehabilitation for TBI.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Data collected included menstrual and reproductive functioning pre- and postinjury, demographic, and injury characteristics. Outcome measures included the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOS-E), the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4 (MPAI-4), and the Medical Outcome Study 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey, Version 2 (SF-12v2).
Results: The median duration of amenorrhea was 61 days (range, 20-344d). Many subjects' menstrual function changed after TBI, reporting a significant increase in skipped menses postinjury (P<.001) and a trend toward more painful menses (P=.061). More severe TBI, as measured by the duration of posttraumatic amnesia, was significantly predictive of a longer duration of amenorrhea (P=.004). Subjects with a shorter duration of amenorrhea scored significantly better on the SF-12 physical component subscale (P=.004), the GOS-E (P=.05), and the MPAI-4 participation subscale (P=.05) after controlling for age, injury severity, and time postinjury.
Conclusions: The severity of TBI was predictive of duration of amenorrhea and a shorter duration of amenorrhea was predictive of better ratings of global outcome, community participation, and health-related quality of life postinjury.