Self-awareness during the menopause

Maturitas. 2002 Jan 30;41(1):61-8. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5122(01)00252-3.


Objective: The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that body-image and self-esteem are major contributors to the severity of menopausal symptoms, and furthermore to measure the influence of hormonal therapy and postmenopausal oestrogen level on specific complaints such as vasomotor symptoms.

Methods: For the random check 51 patients, aged 43-63 (x=53.8; s=4.4) of an independent medical institution for menopause referred to as 'Viennese ambulance' were questioned.

Results: It turned out, that their attitude towards menopause was of major influence on the degree of specific symptoms (e.g. depression, misery, headache etc.)-women who had a negative attitude towards the menopause suffered much more from such symptoms than women who had a positive one. Moreover, women who were satisfied with their physical appearance experienced fewer troublesome symptoms. There was a significant association between high self-esteem and fewer menopausal symptoms. The higher the self-esteem, the lower the symptoms.

Conclusion: Women with a postmenopausal oestrogen level did not experience more menopausal symptoms than women with an average oestrogen level. Moreover, the symptoms were neither fewer nor more whether the women had undergone a hysterectomy or not whether they got hormonal treatment or not. That refutes the hypothesis, that the decrease of the oestrogen level during menopause is the main reason for the accompanying complaints.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / epidemiology*
  • Hot Flashes / etiology
  • Humans
  • Menopause / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept*
  • Socioeconomic Factors