Identification of the Gender-Specific Health Needs of Women Following Lung Transplantation

Emily E. Robertson, Robin J. Bell, Penelope J. Robinson, Greg Snell, Bronwyn Levvey, Helen M. Whitford, Jane Harris, Susan R. Davis

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Background: Little is known of the prevalence and severity of menstrual dysfunction, climacteric symptoms, pelvic floor disorders, sexual problems, and psychological wellbeing after lung transplantation in women. Materials and Methods: Adult female lung transplant recipients, attending the Alfred Hospital Lung Transplant Service in Melbourne, Australia participated in a women's health, cross-sectional questionnaire-based study. Results: The 123 of 149 potential participants were recruited between September 2014 and July 2015. Their median age was 53.5 years, and 44 were premenopausal, 3 perimenopausal, and 76 postmenopausal. Moderate-severe menstrual and premenstrual symptoms were common, and 43% of partnered premenopausal women were not using contraception. Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) were common in postmenopausal women <55 years (80.0%), and the use of menopausal hormone therapy was low (8.9%). The estimated prevalence of low sexual desire associated with distress was 24.4%. Low wellbeing was significantly and independently associated with being aged 50 ≤ 60 years, moderate-severe VMS, impaired forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and psychotropic medication use. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that premenopausal lung transplant recipients need to be asked about bothersome menstrual symptoms, and contraceptive compliance needs regular review. Transplant recipients at midlife have substantially lower wellbeing than women of other ages and this needs attention, including assessment and management of menopausal symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • lung transplant
  • menopause
  • menstrual cycle

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