Two decades later, the symptoms of menopause are greater and the quality of life is worse for women who have undergone physical, sexual, or financial abuse.
Early-life adversity will probably continue to have an impact on a woman’s physical and mental health for years after the pressures have passed.
According to a recent study, past psychosocial stressors like physical or sexual abuse or financial instability may make menopause symptoms worse and worsen overall wellbeing over two decades later. Today, Menopause released the study’s findings online. Hot flashes, sleep difficulties, depressive symptoms, and sexual dysfunction are among the symptoms of menopause that are frequently present and that have a negative impact on a woman’s quality of life. Menopause affects women differently, with some experiencing considerably more severe symptoms than others.
The discrepancies are due to a variety of factors.
Researchers aimed to establish a link between poorer menopause symptoms and a history of psychosocial stressors from infancy through pregnancy in this most recent study, which involved nearly 700 women. This study especially examined the relationship between a woman’s health in midlife, 15 to 20 years later, and her history of stressors as reported at the time of conception.
37.3% of the patients in this study group disclosed a history of physical abuse, and they also reported poorer menopause symptoms, worse general health, and worse depression symptoms. 7.7% more people disclosed a history of sexual abuse, which was linked to both greater menopausal symptoms and poorer general health. There was, however, no evidence of a connection with depressive symptoms. Bad general health, more severe depressive symptoms, and worse menopausal symptoms were all linked to a history of financial difficulty. However, there was no correlation between psychosocial stressors and midlife generalised anxiety symptoms.
“This study provides additional evidence to support the link between adversity earlier in life with worse menopause symptoms and poorer well-being in midlife women. “Additional study is needed to better understand the effect of cumulative exposure to chronic and repeated stress on the health of women in midlife and beyond,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
Based on the study’s findings, the researchers came to the conclusion that psychosocial stressors were linked, decades after the first report, to worse menopause symptoms and wellbeing.
The long-lasting effects of negative events on women’s physical and mental health are highlighted by these findings, which also underscore the significance of past exposure to psychosocial stresses when assessing the health of women in their midlife.