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Infertility Tied to More Severe Menopause Symptoms in Midlife

Most common individual symptoms included depressive mood, irritability, and greater severity of sleep problems

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Women with a history of infertility are more likely to experience more severe menopausal symptoms at midlife, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in Menopause.

Victoria W. Fitz, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined longitudinal associations between history of infertility and menopausal symptoms in midlife. The analysis included 695 midlife women participants in Project Viva. Participants were enrolled during 1999 to 2002 during pregnancy and were followed for 18 years (age 45 years or older or reporting ≥12 months of amenorrhea at the midlife visit).

The researchers found that women with prior infertility were more likely to score above the median on the Menopause Rating Scale (adjusted odds ratio, 1.45) and had higher odds for reporting any depressive mood (adjusted odds ratio, 1.56) and irritability (adjusted odds ratio, 1.57). Among women with prior infertility, there was a trend toward greater severity of sleep problems, but there was no association seen between prior infertility and other menopausal symptoms or age of menopause.

“This study shows an association between a history of infertility and increased odds of depression and sleep symptoms in midlife,” Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. “Women in midlife with a history of infertility may benefit from increased screening for depression.”

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