Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the frequency of genitourinary symptoms and their relationships with several factors in a large cohort of postmenopausal women in Turkey.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study to review genitourinary complaints among 1,328 postmenopausal women; 1,071 of these women were enrolled in the study. They were questioned about their vaginal and urinary symptoms, and the relationships between these symptoms and their demographic characteristics were evaluated.
Results: The most common vaginal and urinary symptoms were dryness (n = 358; 33.4%) and nocturia (n = 421; 39.3%), respectively. Cigarette smoking and regular exercise were not associated with any vaginal symptoms (P > 0.05), with the exception of an association between regular exercise and vaginal dryness (P = 0.026). Nocturia was more common in women older than 60 years (P = 0.001) and in obese women (P = 0.013). Based on multiple binary logistic regression analysis, lower educational status (primary school vs secondary school or higher) and higher parity were the factors most significantly associated with the appearance of at least three vaginal symptoms. Lower educational status was associated with vaginal pain (P = 0.002; odds ratio [OR], 1.75), itching (P < 0.001; OR, 1.23), and discharge (P = 0.011; OR, 1.46). Higher parity was associated with vaginal itching (P < 0.001; OR, 1.23), discharge (P = 0.07; OR, 1.18), and burning (P = 0.012; OR, 1.16). Body mass index (BMI) was the only factor that was significantly associated with the appearance of at least three urinary symptoms, with each one-unit increase in BMI increasing the risk of urgency (P < 0.001; OR, 1.06), nocturia (P < 0.001; OR, 1.06), and frequency (P = 0.009; OR, 1.04).
Conclusions: We identify associations between the frequency of genitourinary complaints and educational status, parity, and BMI. There is no association between regular exercise and urogenital symptoms. However, prospective studies are needed to evaluate the effects of regular exercise on urogenital symptoms. When examining postmenopausal women with risk factors for urinary and vaginal symptoms, clinicians should evaluate these symptoms more thoroughly to facilitate earlier treatment.