APS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology

Point CounterPoint: Do We Need to Control For Menstrual Cycle When Including Women in Human Vascular Studies?

Nonfunded Symposium — Thursday, April 29, 2021 — 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM — , Room APS-4
Sex/Gender Research Interest Group — Chair: Nina Stachenfeld — Co-Chair: Brett Wong

The purpose of this proposed point-counterpoint is to provide a discussion about whether or not it is necessary to control for menstrual cycle phase when performing studies of vascular control mechanisms that include premenopausal women. With the NIH emphasis on sex as a biological variable and the inclusion of women in clinical trials, the majority of human studies now include women participants either as part of the overall study cohort or as a separate group for sex-comparisons. Some studies control for menstrual cycle, typically including women during the early follicular phase when sex-steroid hormone concentrations are lowest, while others test women regardless of menstrual cycle phase. Here, we aim to present and discuss the arguments for and against controlling for menstrual cycle phase in such studies. We believe that this debate is highly relevant to the readership of the Journal of Applied Physiology and will draw lively discussion and commentary.


  • Careful Control of Menstrual Cycle Phase is Crucial When Including Women in Research Studies
    Megan M. Wenner — Kinesiology, University of Delaware

  • We Can Include Women in Research Studies Without Controlling for Menstrual Cycle Phase
    Anna E. Stanhewicz — Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa

  • Session Chair
    Nina Stachenfeld — Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine

  • Session Co-Chair
    Brett Wong — Kinesiology & Health, Georgia State University

Host Societies

Copyright © 2021 Experimental Biology (EB) | Experimental Biology® is a federally registered trademark of EB.