Menstruation and the voice
It has been shown that the tissues of the vocal cords and the female reproductive system can often react similarly when it is the time of the month during which women experience their menstrual cycle.
Sometimes the change in the woman’s vocal cords during this time of the month is very pronounces, which is what some researches have started to refer to as premenstrual voice syndrome, or PMVS. Some of the characteristics of PMVS are vocal fatigue, decreased vocal range, less vocal power, hoarseness, and a general decrease in singing abilities.
It usually starts about four or five days before the menstruation begins. The fact that the menstrual cycle can affect the voice is nothing new, in fact, European opera houses have been allowing female singers to take days off during their menstrual cycles for many years.
A new vocal surgery called phonosurgery is now available, which can help to maintain the performance level of the voice for females, even during menstruation.
However, the surgery is very new, and far from perfect, because there are many things that need to be taken into consideration, especially timing. Of 550 women who were studies, 187 were voice professional and 27 were women who underwent the surgery with little to no improvement. The study was done in order to define PMVS, and it lasted three menstrual cycles. Vocal examinations were performed during ovulation in the premenstrual phase and there were digital and video records made of the vocal fold anatomy.
A spectrographic study was also done in which people the singers emitted mid-range tones so that the lows and highs of the range could be tested. Essentially, it was confirmed that the timing of the surgery has a lot to do with the effectiveness of the procedure. The surgery itself is used by some to maintain and restore the voice. It is an open-neck surgery that restructures the cartilaginous framework of the larynx and the soft tissue, and it also includes injections if medications and synthetic and organic biologic substances to improve the voice.
The process also includes a so-called reinnervation, or restoration, of the nerve supply in the larynx. There are different type of phonosurgery that are available, including laser voice surgery, phonomicrosurgery and laryngeal framework surgery. It is also important to note that after the surgery is completed, a very long process of rehabilitation and training will be needed in order to achieve the maximum effects of the vocal surgery.