Study of Menstrual Cycle Effects on CF Symptoms Now Seeking Patients

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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A new study is seeking to understand whether and how the symptoms of cystic fibrosis (CF) are affected by the menstrual cycle.

To that end, CF patients ages 18 to 45, who have regular monthly periods, are being sought to participate in the aptly named MENSTRUAL study — or MENstrual Symptom TRacking to Understand and Assess women Living with Cystic Fibrosis.

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Being run by researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Illinois-Chicago, all portions of the study can be done remotely, the investigators say.

Those interested in participating can fill out a brief online survey — which asks for information like name, age, and biological sex — to determine whether they are eligible.

“The purpose of this study is to investigate changes in CF-specific symptoms throughout the menstrual cycle among women with CF,” the researchers state in the eligibility survey.

“Specifically, we hope to examine whether CF-related symptoms change throughout the menstrual cycle, the impact of these symptoms on quality of life, and the feasibility of using a period tracking smartphone app to track daily CF-related symptoms,” the survey says.

Individuals determined to be eligible will first go through an online orientation meeting, in which researchers will show them how to download and use a specially designed “period tracking” app on their smartphones. The app is specifically tailored to allow daily tracking of CF symptoms. Participants who do not have a smartphone will instead be shown how to track their daily symptoms with a paper diary.

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Using the app or diary, participants will then record their CF symptoms every day for up to four consecutive menstrual cycles — about three to four months in total. Participants also will fill out a survey at the study’s start, and additional surveys at the end of every month.

After the daily tracking part of the study, some participants will have the option to participate in interviews — conducted virtually via webcam — to discuss CF-related symptoms and their menstrual cycle. These one-time interviews will be confidential, and are expected to last up to 45 minutes.

Participants will be compensated for completing individual portions of the study. Those who complete the orientation meeting and initial survey will be given $10. Another $10 will be awarded for doing the first monthly survey, and participants will receive $30 per month for taking the surveys and doing daily symptom tracking thereafter.

All patients who complete all four of the monthly surveys will get a $25 bonus at the end of the study, and those who participate in the interviews will receive an additional $25.

Anyone with additional questions about this study is invited to contact the MENSTRUAL research team at [email protected] or by calling 206-685-3276.

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