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High-order maternity may be a more significant determinant of quality of midlife than some of the climacteric symptoms

Haimov-Kochman, Ronit MD; Brzezinski, Amnon MD; Hochner-Celnikier, Drorith MD

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181fcd9d4
Original Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of menopause, age, and women's symptoms and characteristics on quality of midlife.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 151 healthy women aged 45 to 55 years attending university-affiliated menopause clinics. To obtain the data, a questionnaire designed by the investigators and based on the Greene Climacteric Scale and the Utian Menopause-Specific Quality of Life scale was self-completed by the participants.

Results: A significant gradual increase in the total Greene Climacteric Scale score was observed from premenopausal to perimenopausal and postmenopausal women (P = 0.02), specifically in the vasomotor and sexual subscores (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.001, respectively). In contrast, the total quality-of-life score remained stable in every specific aspect (occupation, health, emotion, and sex) throughout the menopausal transition (P = 0.8). A significant correlation was found between the psychological, somatic, and sexual Greene Climacteric Scale subscores and the Utian quality-of-life score (r = −0.46, P < 0.001; r = −0.29, P < 0.05; r = −0.28, P < 0.05, respectively), whereas the vasomotor subscore had no impact on midlife quality. The number of children was the only demographic factor that had a significant impact on the Utian score (P < 0.05) and to a higher extent than the climacteric syndrome. Hormone therapy equalizes the climacteric symptom profile of users to that of nonusers, yet both users and nonusers reported similar scores of midlife quality.

Conclusions: Menopause-specific quality of life may be affected by both demographic and climacteric parameters. Menopausal symptoms, but not vasomotor symptoms, have a negative impact on midlife quality, yet to a lesser degree than does the number of children.

Menopause-specific quality of life is affected by both demographic and climacteric parameters. Family size, rather than the climacteric syndrome, is a major determinant of the quality of midlife.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

Received July 9, 2010; revised and accepted September 16, 2010.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Ronit Haimov-Kochman, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Mt Scopus, PO Box 24035, Jerusalem 91240, Israel. E-mail:

©2011The North American Menopause Society