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This study, based on a population survey, examines the self ratings of progress through the menopausal transition of women in natural menopause, women using hormone therapy and women who have undergone hysterectomy. The latter two groups are usually excluded from discussions of menopausal transition, since the accepted menstrually defined criteria do not apply to them. Hysterectomised women do not differ in their self rating profile from non-hysterectomised women, after hormone therapy status is taken into account. This is surprising, since they may have been expected to see themselves as in the main postmenopausal. Use of hormone therapy is tantamount to self perception as at least perimenopausal. Among women in natural menopause there is 29% disagreement between self ratings and menstrually defined categories. On the basis of these observations it is hypothesised that experience of symptoms associated with menopause is important in determining self ratings. The good fit of logistic regression predictions of self ratings from hysterectomy status, hormone therapy status and experience of hot flushes is consistent with this hypothesis. This research indicates that it is important to take women's subjective evaluations into account in assessing progress through the menopausal transition.
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Accepted: April 11, 1997
Received in revised form: April 10, 1997
Received: December 17, 1996
© 1997 Published by Elsevier Inc.