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Psychosomatic Menopausal Experiences in Nigerian Women-The Influence of Age at Menarche and Age at Menopause

Keywords: Age at menarche , menopause , psychosomatic symptoms

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A questionnaire survey of 108 randomly selected menopausal women in the Lagos metropolis (Nigeria) was undertaken. They were requested to report on any menopausal symptoms experienced, age at menarche and menopause, present ages and marital status. The most common menopausal symptoms reported were hot flushes (83.7%) and vaginal dryness (49.0%). Psychosomatic symptoms included irritability, insomnia, dizziness and depression. Most respondents reported mild or moderate severity of the experienced symptoms. Respondents who experienced depression were observed to have started menstruation at a statistically younger age (mean 12.4 years) than those who did not experience it (mean 14.9 years). On the other hand respondents who experienced insomnia started menstruation at a statistically older age (mean 15.8 years) than those who did not experience it (14.1 years). For irritability and dizziness there was no statistical difference in age at menarche between those who experienced the symptoms and those who did not. The present study also revealed that age at the onset of menopause did not differ in those who experienced and those who did not experience depression, insomnia and irritability. However there was a statistical difference in age at menopause between respondents who experienced dizziness and those who did not, with the mean age being higher (52.6 years) in respondents who experienced it. There appears to be no strong patterned correlation between age at menarche and at menopause and psychosomatic menopausal experiences. Age at the onstart of menstruation and onset of menopause may not play a deciding role in the experience of most psychosomatic menopausal symptoms.


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