Gynaecology of middle-aged women--menstrual and reproductive histories

Maturitas. 1985 Jul;7(2):99-113. doi: 10.1016/0378-5122(85)90016-7.


The aim of this study was to investigate menstrual history, reproductive functions, fertility regulation and gynaecological operations is a representative sample of middle-aged women. A sample consisting of 1746 women aged 40-66 was randomly selected. Of those initially selected, a total of 1413 (81%) were investigated. Gynaecological data were acquired by means of questionnaires. Eighty-six percent of menstruating women reported a cycle length of 22-30 days and menstrual flows lasting 4-7 days. The median age at natural menopause was 50.9 yr. The oldest menstruating women were 57 yr old. Curettage had been performed in 53%, and 9% were hysterectomised. Every fourth woman had had three or more children, and 15% were nulliparous. Abortion (spontaneous or induced) was reported by 28% of the women. Of 714 menstruating women, 62% were utilising contraceptive methods, among which barrier or natural methods predominated. Nine percent of women aged 40-44 used combined oral contraceptives. Previous or current use of contraceptive pills was reported by 32% of all the women, and of these 20% had been on the pill for 10 or more yr.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Castration
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / therapeutic use
  • Curettage
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Menarche
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Menstruation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproduction*
  • Time Factors


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined