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The clinical features of the menopause and the influence of the length of pregnancies and lactation on the age of menopause and on the incidence of hot flushes were studied in 154 women aged 50–85 yr. The mean age at menopause was 46.6 ± 4.7 SD yr. The cessation of menses occurred abruptly in 43.5% of the cases or after a period of menstrual irregularities (56.4% of the cases). The prevalent abnormalities were oligomenorrhea (45.4%) or functional bleeding (10.4%), both of short duration in the majority of the cases. Hot flushes were experienced more frequently (68.9%) in women with menstrual irregularities before the onset of menopause and especially those who presented an oligo-menorrhea (71.4%) than in women with abrupt cessation of menses (41.7%). The length of pregnancies did not seem to influence the age at menopause. The mean age at menopause in 17 nulligravida women was 46.5 yr and did not differ significantly from the mean age at menopause of women with 1–19, 20–39, 40–59 and 60–110 mth of pregnancies. The duration of pregnancies, however, seemed to influence the incidence of hot flushes. Women with more than 20 mth of pregnancy had a significantly smaller incidence of hot flushes than nulligravida or women with 1–19 mth of pregnancy.
The length of lactation was also not correlated with the age at menopause. Finally, the age of last pregnancy was not found to be related with the menopause or the incidence of hot flushes.
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Accepted: December 19, 1978
Received: October 9, 1978
© 1979 Published by Elsevier Inc.