Women who had health problems like diabetes or a history of breast or uterine cancer were excluded, as were women who were on certain types of medication, like hormone treatment or tranquilisers.
The researchers found that some menopausal symptoms changed in frequency as women moved further into the menopause. But sleep disturbance was a notable exception, remaining constant regardless of when a woman had had her LMP.
For example women who had had their LMP in the last two months experienced an average of 3.4 hot flashes or flushes a day and this more than doubled to 7.60 in women who had had their LMP in the last three to 11 months. By 12 months plus the level had fallen to 6.83.
The pattern was the same for day sweats, starting at 3.50 a day and rising to 5.97 before falling to 5.17.
However, night sweats rose consistently during this time, starting at 1.86, then rising to 2.67 and 3.25.
This contradicts earlier research which sought to link sleep difficulties with night sweats and problems like hot flashes or flushes stressed Dr Berg. Although the severity of these problems changed as the women progressed through the early stage of the menopause, the sleep difficulties the women reported remained fairly constant.
The study also showed that, with the exception of sleep difficulties, the most common symptoms reported by the women were not necessarily the ones that they said were the most severe.
For example, forgetfulness was the second most commonly reported symptom, but when it came to severity it only rated seventh out of the 10 symptoms studied says Dr Berg.
And night sweats were the fourth most common symptom, but women rated them second whe
|Contact: Annette Whibley|