Relationships between premenstrual complaints and perimenopausal experiences.

Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics and gynaecology

PubMedID: 9929844

Morse CA, Dudley E, Guthrie J, Dennerstein L. Relationships between premenstrual complaints and perimenopausal experiences. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1998;19(4):182-91.
This study evaluates whether a history of menstrually-related problems, termed premenstrual complaints (PMCs), is a significant predictive marker for a more symptomatic perimenopausal experience. Two hundred and ninety-one randomly selected urban women, aged between 45 and 55 years were interviewed yearly for three consecutive years to record their individual experiences and changes as they progressed through the menopause transition. Repeated measures were obtained on a range of physical, psychological and social indicators. The experiences of women who reported a self-defined history of premenstrual complaints (n = 104) were compared with those women with no prior premenstrual problems (n = 187) and predictors of perimenopausal symptoms were assessed. Relationships were found between a prior history of both physical and psychological premenstrual complaints and a more symptomatic perimenopause characterised by dysphoria, skeletal, digestive and respiratory symptoms (all ps < 0.05). The more symptomatic women also reported pronounced interpersonal stress (p < 0.001), significant 'hassles', current smoking and low exercise (ps < 0.05). The findings support predictive relationships between a prior history of premenstrual problems and a more problematic menopause transition. The issues of vulnerability and help-seeking behaviors are discussed.