Menopausal symptoms; prevalence and impact on the health and wellbeing of older women

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Abstract

Objectives: Normative data for the persistence of postmenopausal symptoms including vasomotor symptoms (VMS; hot flushes and night sweats), urogenital atrophy and pelvic floor disorders in older women are lacking. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of vasomotor (VMS), vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) symptoms, and pelvic floor disorders in community-dwelling older Australian women. Methods: 1548 women, aged 65–79 years, were recruited to this national cross-sectional study between April and August 2014. Participants provided demographic data and completed the Menopause Quality Of Life questionnaire and validated questionnaires for assessing pelvic floor disorders. Results: Among 1426 women not using systemic hormones, 32.8% had VMS, with 10.3% having moderate-to-severe VMS. Obesity (OR¼1.44; 95% CI, 1.07–1.93), being a carer for another person (OR, 2.54, 95% CI, 1.33–4.84), and bilateral oophorectomy (OR, 2.41, 95% CI, 1.25–4.61) were positively associated with any VMS. 20.3% of women (32.5% of partnered and 7% of un-partnered women) reported having VVA symptoms in the last month. 47.2% of women had at least one pelvic floor disorder (36.2% urinary incontinence, 19.8% faecal incontinence, and 6.8% pelvic organ prolapse). Obesity (OR¼1.77; 95% CI, 1.36–2.31), and parity (OR¼1.93; 95% CI, 1.30–2.88) were positively associated with having at least one pelvic floor disorder. Conclusions: VMS, VVA symptoms, and pelvic floor disorders are common in older Australian women. Physicians caring for older women should consider that older women may have ongoing estrogen deficiency symptoms and women with symptoms of one pelvic floor disorder are likely to have a concurrent pelvic floor problem. The degree of distress caused by VVA symptoms amongst older women needs further exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-27
Number of pages1
JournalClimacteric
Volume19
Issue numberSuppl. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2016

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