Menstruation and suicide: a histopathological study.
ABSTRACT Previous research, albeit limited, has reported mixed findings on the impact of menstruation cycle on suicidal behavior. The contribution of menstruation to completed suicide is also controversial; the studies are, in fact, very limited and are not carefully designed.
To examine whether the menstruation cycle impacts on suicide.
In order to explore this relationship, 56 autopsies on completed suicides in females were performed and matched to a control group of 44 females who had died from other causes, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. Histopathological examination, a method of collecting tissue from the uterus through biopsy, was used to determine the stage of the menstrual cycle.
The results show that 25% of women who had died by suicide were menstruating at the time, compared to 4.5% of the control group; this is statistically (chi2) significant at the p < .002 level.
Menstruation in the women who completed suicide, compared to a control group, appeared to have an association, though more research is warranted. Not only there are serious methodological problems in the study of menstruation and suicide (largely because of problematic tissue storage and examination), but also because of the need to understand the impact within a larger psychological, social, and cultural frame.