A Scottish postal survey suggested that the prevailing clinical preoccupation with heavy periods does not reflect the epidemiology of reported symptoms and problems

Santer, M., Warner, P. and Wyke, S. (2005) A Scottish postal survey suggested that the prevailing clinical preoccupation with heavy periods does not reflect the epidemiology of reported symptoms and problems. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 58(11), pp. 1206-1210. (doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2005.02.026)

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Abstract

Objective To determine the prevalence of self-reported menstrual symptoms and problem periods and explore their relationship with sociodemographic factors, parity, long-standing illness, and hormonal contraceptive use. Study Design and Setting Postal questionnaire survey of 4,610 women aged 25–44 registered with 19 general practices in Lothian, Scotland. Results Among menstruating women, 30% reported heavy periods, a further 5% very heavy periods and 15% severe period pain. Although 39% of women reported either heaviness or pain or both, only 22% reported their periods as a marked or severe problem. Multivariate logistic regression showed that reporting problem periods was associated with long-standing illness, heaviness of bleeding, menstrual pain and inversely associated with hormonal contraceptive use. Reporting problem periods was strongly associated with severe pain (OR = 21, 95% CI = 15–28) and with very heavy loss (OR = 14, 95% CI = 8.0–24). Conclusions Reporting heavy or painful periods was common but reporting problem periods was less so. Reporting severe pain was at least as strongly associated with problem periods as very heavy periods and severe pain affected many more women than very heavy periods. Therefore the clinical preoccupation with heavy periods does not reflect the epidemiology of menstrual symptoms or problem

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wyke, Professor Sally
Authors: Santer, M., Warner, P., and Wyke, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publisher:Elsevier Inc.
ISSN:0895-4356
ISSN (Online):1878-5921
Published Online:11 October 2005

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