Premature menopause and psychological well-being

J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2000 Sep;21(3):167-74. doi: 10.3109/01674820009075624.


This study aimed to investigate the psychological well-being of women who had experienced menopause before the age of 40 years. Participants were women known to the reproductive endocrinology service of a London teaching hospital. They were contacted and invited to participate in the questionnaire study by post. Sixty-four women (41.6%) who completed and returned their questionnaires formed a usable sample. Participants reported high levels of depression and perceived stress, and low levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction, compared to the general population. Self-reports on several dimensions of sexuality were significantly more negative. The following factors could affect the degree of reported distress: age, age at diagnosis, time since diagnosis, already having children, being in a long-term relationship, or having psychological treatment in the past or present. The results suggest that premature menopause could pose significant psychological difficulty for a sizeable proportion of those who have the condition. It is argued that the provision of psychological care should be an integral part of clinical management.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marital Status
  • Menopause, Premature / psychology*
  • Mental Health*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health