Cognitive function effects of suppressing ovarian hormones in young women

Jane F. Owens, Karen A. Matthews, Susan A. Everson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effect of a pharmacologically induced, temporary suppression of ovarian hormones on healthy young women's cognitive functioning. Design: Sixteen healthy women with normal menstrual cycles completed the California Verbal Learning Test, a digit span test, and a verbal fluency test in the follicular phase of a normal menstrual cycle and a second time after four monthly injections of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. Women were randomly assigned to complete a third testing either after resuming cycles in the follicular phase or after three more injections of the GnRH agonist and while wearing an estradiol patch. The control group consisted of 10 women who were tested three times in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycles. Results: Results showed no change in cognitive functioning across sessions or groups in women with suppressed ovarian function. Women who had the highest levels of menopausal symptoms when taking the GnRH agonist did not have significantly lower cognitive functioning. Conclusions: This study did not find any effect of suppression in ovarian hormones on cognitive performance of young women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Cognitive performance
  • Hormone replacement
  • Ovarian hormones

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