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Maturitas. 1996 Feb;23(1):15-21.

Female voice changes around and after the menopause--an initial investigation.

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International Health Foundation, Brussels, Belgium.


The views of 48 female and 24 male professional singers aged 40-74 years were sought regarding the occurrence of possible voice changes in around the fifth decade of life. The changes actually experienced were investigated to determine whether women's and men's voice changes were different, which might indicate that the menopause had an impact on the female voice. Respondents were approached via personal contacts and completed anonymous questionnaires that were returned by mail. Given the delicate nature of the study topic, no information was obtained on non-responders. Seventy-seven percent of the female singers and 71% of the men were of the opinion that the voice generally underwent changes at around the age of 50. The female singers placed greater emphasis on problems affecting the high registers and voice control than the men. Overall, 29% of the women had actually experienced negative voice changes at around age 50, as compared with 38% of the men. Both sexes reported huskiness, but the women seemed to have more frequent problems with voice emission, voice control and reaching their highest registers. In addition, 27 women reported that they had experienced voice changes during menstruation and five women stated that these had occurred during use of the oral contraceptive pill, which may have reflected the impact of other hormone-related factors. Despite the limitations of this initial investigation (the sample was small and selective), the broad findings indicated that the female voice undergoes specific changes at around the time of the menopause.

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