To investigate the prevalence of symptoms and associated factors in Taiwanese women calling a menopause hotline.
A cross-sectional, descriptive, epidemiological study was performed on 20,882 women aged 40 to 89 years registered in the menopause consultation database of the nationwide toll-free consultation hotline for menopause-related issues from January 2006 to December 2016. The data included demography, sources of menopausal health care, and menopause/midlife symptoms scale.
The mean menopausal age was 49.6 ± 4 years. The prevalence of the symptoms increased with the progress of the menopausal stages, and the differences between stages were significant. The top five symptoms reported on a menopause hot line were memory loss (66.9%), fatigue (66.5%), insomnia (59.6%), depressed mood (58.5%), and back pain (58.2%). Of the women, 23.5% did visit a medical facility for menopausal problems mainly the department of gynecology. More than half of the women (56.4%) opted for medical personnel as the preferred channel for obtaining information concerning menopause. Women who had a higher education level, were single, had no children, were not experiencing the empty-nest phenomenon, were employed, had no chronic disease, were premenopausal, had never received hormone therapy, and had not visited medical facilities scored the lowest in menopause/midlife symptoms.
Compared with premenopausal and perimenopausal women, postmenopausal women experience the most severe symptoms. Therefore, establishing a menopause consultation hotline answered by medical personnel and implementing support for postmenopausal women to obtain strategies to alleviate symptoms are required and necessary.