• Study finds connection between severe menopausal symptoms and history of recent abuse

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Menopause is associated with many bothersome symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, difficulty with mood, memory or concentration, and changes in sexual function. Mayo Clinic physicians recently released findings from research that demonstrated a connection between the severity of menopausal symptoms and a woman’s recent experience of abuse. The abuse could be verbal or emotional, physical or sexual.middle aged woman, sad, thinking, worried, depressed

Mayo Clinic experts presented findings from the study, “The Association Between Abuse and Menopausal Symptom Bother: Results From the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause and Sexuality,” at the annual conference for the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Las Vegas.

“Approximately 25 percent of women say they have experienced abuse over the course of their lifetime, and we know that this can have long-lasting and far-reaching effects on physical and emotional health,” says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Office of Women’s Health and co-author of the study. “This study examines whether, and to what degree, self-reported abuse in the last year is associated with the severity of menopausal symptoms.”

Based on survey responses from more than 3,700 women, Mayo Clinic researchers found that:

• In the last year, 6.8 percent reported one or more forms of abuse. Of those, 96.8 percent reported experiencing verbal or emotional abuse; 13 percent, physical abuse; and 3.9 percent, sexual abuse.
• Women who reported recent abuse also reported having more bothersome menopausal symptoms, including difficulty with sleep, issues with mood, memory or concentration, bowel/bladder problems, and difficulty with sexual function.
• There was not a direct correlation between the severity of hot flashes or night sweats, and reports of abuse in the last year.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: newsbureau@mayo.edu.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Faubion are available in the downloads.

This is the second study Mayo Clinic conducted based on the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause and Sexuality (DREAMS) data. A previous study showed that the severity of menopausal symptoms is associated with lifestyle choices, such as caffeine intake. To learn more about Mayo Clinic research related to menopause or symptoms of menopause, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.


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