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Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31827e18b8
Original Articles

Past reproductive events as predictors of physical symptom severity during the menopausal transition

Stone, Suzanne E. PhD, CPsych1; Mazmanian, Dwight PhD, CPsych1; Oinonen, Kirsten A. PhD, CPsych1; Sharma, Verinder MB, FRCP(C)2,3

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Abstract

Objective

This study aims to determine whether the severity of physical symptoms experienced during perimenopause can be predicted by physical symptoms experienced during past reproductive events (ie, symptoms experienced during pregnancy, the postpartum period, the premenstrual phase, and hormonal contraceptive use).

Methods

Two hundred ninety perimenopausal and postmenopausal women completed a series of questionnaires pertaining to their menopausal symptoms and the severity of both physical and emotional symptoms experienced during past reproductive events.

Results

The severity of some physical symptoms experienced during past reproductive events predicted the severity of menopausal physical symptoms. Some symptoms experienced during the premenstrual phase (ie, pain, lack of concentration, and water retention) and physical symptoms experienced during pregnancy were the best unique predictors of menopausal physical symptoms.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that women with a history of more severe physical symptoms during periods of both low (ie, premenstrual phase) and high (ie, pregnancy) hormone exposure are at greatest risk for experiencing severe physical symptoms during the perimenopausal transition.

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society

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