Assessing menopausal symptoms among healthy middle aged women with the Menopause Rating Scale

Maturitas. 2007 Jul 20;57(3):271-8. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2007.01.009. Epub 2007 Feb 27.


Background: The frequency and intensity of menopausal symptoms within a given population, as assessed by several tools, vary and depend on several factors among them age, menopausal status, chronic conditions and socio-demographic profile.

Objective: Determine the frequency and intensity of menopausal symptoms as well as associated risk factors among healthy middle aged Ecuadorian women.

Design: In this cross-sectional study healthy women aged 40 or more, with intact uterus and ovaries, working at the Luis Vernaza Hospital, Guayaquil, Ecuador, were asked to fill out the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) questionnaire. Symptom frequency and intensity, as well as obtained scores, were assessed and correlated to demographic data.

Results: During the study period, 300 subjects were surveyed. Mean age was 45.1+/-3.1 years (median 45). According to menopausal status women were premenopausal (40.6%); perimenopausal (48%) and postmenopausal (11.4%). A 62% of women were not sexually active and 8.3% had less than 12 years of schooling. The 5 most frequent symptoms of the 11 composing the MRS (n=300) were: muscle and joint problems (77%), depressive mood (74.6%), sexual problems (69.6%), hot flushes (65.5%) and sleeping disorders (45.6%). In general, peri- and postmenopausal women significantly presented higher rates of menopausal symptoms when compared to premenopausal women. Total and subscale MRS scores significantly increased in relation to age and the menopausal stage. Women with lower educational level presented higher somatic and psychological scorings in comparison to their counterparts. Sexually inactive women presented higher total as well as somatic, psychological and urogenital scorings. Logistic regression analysis confirmed significant associations found during univariate analysis.

Conclusion: In this specific healthy population, age, the menopause, sexual inactivity and educational level were independent risk factors predicting more severe menopausal symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ecuador / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / epidemiology*
  • Hot Flashes / etiology
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Menopause*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Socioeconomic Factors