Background: The cultural practice and lifestyle, conditioned by socio-demographic factors greatly influence the perception of symptoms during menopause and in turn may affect quality of life of these women. The objective of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of symptoms during menopause, to determine the influence of socio-demographic factors on these symptoms and ‘Quality of Life’ among women at Abha, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 228 women attending the five Primary Health Care Clinics located at different regions of Abha; the study participants were grouped into three categories according to the menstrual status: premenopausal (45.6%), perimenopausal (28.1%), and postmenopausal (26.3%). The standardized, self-administered Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and questionnaire for socio-demographic factors were used as research tool. The mean MRS score were compared in the three groups and relationship of socio-demographic factors with MRS scores and quality of life were studied.
Results: Majority of the women complained of joint and muscular discomfort (96.1%), irritability (94.7%), anxiety (89.0%) and hot flushes and sweating (80.7%). The mean total score for MRS scale was 15.25 ± 6.01. The mean score was 6.36 ± 3.01 for somatic symptoms, 6.05 ± 2.54 for psychological symptoms and 2.84 ± 2.25 for urogenital symptoms. Marital status, lower education level, parity, lack of exercise and chronic disease status were significantly associated with higher MRS and poor quality of life.
Conclusion: Our study reveals that women at Abha, Saudi Arabia have moderate MRS scores, reflecting moderately poor quality of life and ability to cope with this phase of transition in life.