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Climacteric. 2003 Jun;6(2):112-7.

Health care-seeking for menopausal problems.

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Office for Gender and Health, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To determine the rate and timing of medical consultations for menopausal problems during the menopausal transition and to identify baseline and prospective variables associated with these consultations.


This was a 9-year community-based study with annual interviews of 438 Australian-born women who at baseline were aged 45-55 years, had menstruated in the previous 3 months and were not using hormone therapy.


In total, 387 women completed the 9-year study, of whom 86% consulted a doctor about menopausal problems, with an annual mean of 31%. Of the women, 212 experienced a natural menopause. The prevalence of consultations regarding menopausal problems was a maximum about 2.5 years before the final menstrual period (FMP). The time of greatest prevalence of reporting bothersome hot flushes was 2.1 years after the FMP. There was no significant relationship between number of symptoms reported and time to/from the FMP. Multiple regression analysis found that an increased number of consultations for menopausal problems was associated with the baseline variables: vasomotor symptoms (p < 0.005), rating one's health as 'worse than most' (p < 0.005) and taking two or more non-prescription medications (p < 0.05); and the follow-up variables: dysphoric symptoms (p < 0.05), vasomotor symptoms (p < 0.005) and hormone therapy use (p < 0.001).


Nearly one-third of women will consult a doctor annually during the years of the menopausal transition. Those who are more symptomatic with mood or vasomotor symptoms consult doctors more often and are more likely to use hormone replacement therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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