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Menopause-like symptoms may arise prior to the menopause transition

Women in the late reproductive stage may experience menopause-related symptoms that could impact their quality of life, according to new research.

A recent study in Menopause found that menopause-related symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and depression, may impact women several years before menopause.

The study included more than 350 Spanish-speaking women. According to the North American Menopause Society, it is the latest study to document the effect of various physiologic and psychological changes that affect women in the 4 to 10 years before they reach the menopause transition.

A woman’s late reproductive stage is characterized by the low antral follicle counts and subtle changes to menstrual cycle length, duration and flow. It is also when fertility begins to decline and hormone patterns shift. The study in Menopause aimed to characterize and compare the symptoms Spanish-speaking women around the world report experiencing during the late-reproductive stage and the menopause transition.


Researchers identified women in the late reproductive stage and the menopause transition reporting 8 or 18 common menopause symptoms. According to the findings, women in the late reproductive stage had a lower age-adjusted odds of musculoskeletal pain and lower odds of decresed interest in sex. However, both groups reported a similar interference with personal relationships and overall quality of life. According to the researchers, more research is needed to assess how changes associated with reproductive aging affect quality of life.

“This study in Spanish-speaking women not only adds to the evidence that women experience multiple symptoms typically associated with the menopause transition in their late-reproductive years but also highlights opportunities for anticipatory guidance that is culturally and linguistically appropriate,” said Stephanie Faubion, MD, NAMS medical director.

Reference

Petridis E. Accessed January 12, 2023. https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/late-reproductive-stage-symptoms-vs-menopause.pdf