Determining common menopause timing for women is difficult
The causes were assumed to be the same as those of women’s menarche (onset of menstruation) occurring at an ever-younger age: better diet and health, along with improved maternity care.Updated: Feb 08, 2020 15:23 IST
According to a recent study, it is hard to determine a common timing of menopause for women due to the increased use of contraceptive pills and hormonal intrauterine devices.
The study was conducted by the researchers of the University of Gothenburg and was published in the journal - menopause.
According to the study, it was difficult to find a clear answer to menopause in more than one in every three women aged 50.
The springboard for the study was previous research, published in the scientific journal Menopause, showing that women’s menopausal age had risen over time. The question addressed this time was whether this trend has persisted.
This trend of rising menopausal age emerged very clearly from a study published by researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, in 2003. This study was based on the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, a major project commenced in 1968.
The data concerned women born between 1908 and 1930 and those born towards the end of this period proved to be older at the onset of menopause. On average, for every ten years later a woman was born, her menopause came when she was one year older.
The causes were assumed to be the same as those of women’s menarche (onset of menstruation) occurring at an ever-younger age: better diet and health, along with improved maternity care.
The statistical significance of the rise in menopausal age was high, and could not be explained by the women’s hormone use, smoking, socioeconomic group, BMI, number of children, or age at menarche.
The Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg has continued to survey women aged 38 and 50, most recently in 2016 and 2017.
However, in the present, follow-up study, the researchers encountered a problem: for many of the 50-year-old women it was not possible to establish their exact menopausal age.
“We investigated the numbers of 50-year-olds who were still menstruating and those who had stopped menstruating and found that after 1992 the part still menstruating was somewhat smaller than 1992. However, there’s great uncertainty, since many of the women were taking hormones,” said the lead researcher Kerstin Rodstrom.
Just over 37 per cent of the women used hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), contraceptive pills, or other forms of birth control involving hormones that affect the volume of menstrual flow, menopausal ailments, or both. This group also included women who were no longer menstruating because they had undergone uterine surgery.
“Nowadays, the period around the age of menopause is a very active part of women’s lives, and the study shows that women today assume great responsibility for, and are in control of, their own fertility and well-being during an important life phase: the middle age,” said another researcher Cecilia Bjorkelund.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)