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Evaluation of life's quality of women in climacteric in the city of Floriano, Piauí

Avaliação da qualidade de vida de mulheres no climatério na cidade de Floriano, Piauí

Abstract

Introduction:

The climacteric is the transition phase that is between the end of the reproductive and non-reproductive period of the woman's life, and that can be extended up to 65 years of age. Menopause is considered the mark of this phase and is characterized as an event, and not as a period.

Objectives:

To evaluate the life's quality of women in climacteric, in the city of Floriano - PI, by using the Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ). With the specific objectives it was sought to identify the socio-demographic profile and menopausal status, highlight the most frequent symptoms at this phase and verify the intensity of climacteric symptoms in women through the Blatt-Kupperman Index (BKI).

Methodology:

It is a descriptive, cross-sectional and quantitative study. For the selection of the participating subjects, it was made a systematically count in every three domiciles in Nova Sambaíba neighborhood, in the city of Floriano, PI. The sample consisted of 184 women.

Results:

In the verification of the intensity of climacteric symptoms, given by Blatt-Kupperman Index (BKI), the symptomatology was considered light for 109 women (59.24%) and the most common symptoms were nervousness (73.9%), skin changes (66.8 %), anxiety (60.9%), hot flashes (57.6%), thinning and loss of hair (49.5%) and hypertension (26.1%). The most affected domain of the WHQ was the sexual function, with an average of 1.9, and the domains of menstrual problems and depressed mood, considered lighter (3.3).

Conclusion:

According to the applied methodology, it is concluded that the obtained data didn't show significant impairment of quality of life of these women because of climacteric.

Keywords:
Quality of life; Climacteric; Menopause.

Resumo

Introdução:

O climatério é a fase de transição que está entre o final do período reprodutivo e o não reprodutivo da vida da mulher, podendo estender-se até os 65 anos de idade. A menopausa é considerada o marco desta fase e é caracterizada como um evento, e não um período.

Objetivos:

Avaliar a qualidade de vida de mulheres no climatério na cidade de Floriano-PI, utilizando o Questionário de Saúde da Mulher (QSM). Com os objetivos específicos buscou-se identificar o perfil sócio demográfico e estado menopausal, destacar os sintomas mais frequentes nessa fase e verificar a intensidade dos sintomas do climatério nas mulheres através do Índice de Blatt-Kupperman (IBK).

Metodologia:

Estudo descritivo, transversal e quantitativo. Para seleção dos sujeitos participantes a contagem foi sistemática, de três em três domicílios, no bairro Sambaíba Nova , na cidade de Floriano-PI. A amostra foi constituída de 184 mulheres.

Resultados:

Na averiguação da intensidade dos sintomas do climatério utilizando o IBK, a sintomatologia foi considerada leve para 109 mulheres (59.24%), sendo que os sintomas mais frequentes foram: nervosismo (73,9%), alterações de pele (66,8%), ansiedade (60,9%), fogachos (57,6%), afinamento e queda dos cabelos (49,5%) e hipertensão (26,1%). O domínio mais afetado do QSM foi função sexual, com média de 1.9. Foram considerados mais leves os domínios de problemas menstruais e humor deprimido (3,3).

Conclusão:

De acordo com a metodologia aplicada, conclui-se que os dados obtidos não mostraram relevante comprometimento da qualidade de vida dessas mulheres devido ao climatério.

Palavras-chave:
Qualidade de vida; Climatério; Menopausa.

Introduction

Brazil has today, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) census, a population of about 191 million people, of which 51.04% are women 1Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística {Internet}. Censo. 2010 {cited 2011 Aug 22}. Available from: Available from: http://www.censo2010.ibge.gov.br/primeiros_dados_divulgados/index.php?uf=00
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. The female life expectancy has increased on the last decades, from 45 years in 1960 to 77 years in 2010. From this data we can affirm that women will spend about 1/3 of their lives experiencing the climacteric, predominantly the stage of estrogen disability 2Baracho, E; Almeida, MBA; Guimarães TA. A importância da fisioterapia durante o climatério e terceira idade. In: Baracho E. Fisioterapia aplicada a obstetrícia, uroginecologia e aspectos de mastologia. 4ed. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan; 2007. p. 465,3De Lorenzi, DRS; Catan, LBC; Moreira, K; Ártico GR. Assistência a mulher climatérica: novos paradigmas. Rev bras enferm {Internet}. 2009mar-abr. {cited2011 nov 05}. 62(2): 287-93., which acquires an increasing significance in the need for improvements in quality of life (LQ), so that these women can live healthily in this phase and in other phases of their life 4Risson JI. Alterações da sexualidade no climatério. {Monografia}. Cascavel: Faculdade Assis Gurgacz; 2007. Graduação em Fisioterapia. {cited 2011 Nov 03} 2007. Available from: Available from: http://www.fag.edu.br/tcc/2007/Fisioterapia/alteracoes_da_sexualidade_no_climaterio.pdf
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.

According to Wender et al. 5Wender, COM; Freitas, F; Castro, JAS; Vanin C. Climatério. In: Freitas F. Rotinas em ginecologia. 5ed. Porto Alegre: Art Med, 2006. p. 542-60., climacteric is the transition phase that is between the end of the reproductive and non-reproductive period of the women's life, and that can extend up to 65 years of age. Menopause is considered the mark of this phase and it is characterized as an event, and not a period 6Halbe, HW; Fonseca, AM; Bagnoli, VR; Halbe, AFP; Lopes, CMC; Celestino, CA et al. Síndrome do climatério. In: Barros, ACSD, Pinotti JA. Ginecologia moderna: condutas da clínica ginecológica da faculdade de medicina da USP. Rio de Janeiro: Revinter, 2004. p. 211-36.. It occurs on average of 51.4 years, and it marks the end of the reproductive capacity of women, due to a decline in levels of estrogen from the ovaries 2Baracho, E; Almeida, MBA; Guimarães TA. A importância da fisioterapia durante o climatério e terceira idade. In: Baracho E. Fisioterapia aplicada a obstetrícia, uroginecologia e aspectos de mastologia. 4ed. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan; 2007. p. 465. This phase is characterized by the gradual reduction of the production of steroid hormones, mainly estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries and menstrual cycles are becoming irregular, until they completely cease 7Baracat, EC; Haidar, MA; Nunes, MG; Junior, JMS; Lima GR. Transição para a menopausa. In: Baracat, EC, Lima GR. Guia de ginecologia. Barueri: Manole, 2005. p. 339-432..

According to Fonseca et al. 8Fonseca, AM; Bagnoli, VR; Sauerbronn AVD; Assis JS. Fisiologia do climatério. In: Halbe, HW. Tratado de ginecologia. 3ed. 3 vol. São Paulo: Roca; 2000. p.1511- 8., during the climacteric, especially in the absence of estrogen period, post-menopause, physiological changes occur in all systems, such as: urogenital, integumentary system, neural manifestations, osteometabolic, mammary and sexuality. On this phase it is common the appearance of symptoms such as: hot flushes, sudoresis, dizziness and headache, among others, influencing in health, daily activities and social relationship of these women. As consequences, there may be anxiety, stress, depression and irritability, damaging the quality of life.

According to De Lorenzi 9De Lorenzi, DRS. Avaliação da qualidade de vida no climatério. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. {Internet}. 2008{cited 2011 Aug 02}; 30(3):103-6. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S010072032008000300001&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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, the most relevant factors associated to women's quality of life during climacteric are their prior physical and emotional conditions, as well as their social inclusion front experiences to life events influence attitudes and women's perceptions in relation to menopause in LQ in the climacteric. Besides, women with a more negative perception of menopause not only tend to have a worse LQ, as more severe climacteric symptoms.

Because of the female population currently be more numerous and with an expectation that goes beyond the male 10Galvão, LLLF; Farias, MCS; Azevedo, PRM; Vilar, MJP; Azevedo GD. Prevalência de transtornos mentais comuns e avaliação da qualidade de vida no climatério. Rev Assoc Med Bras. {Internet}. 2007 {cited in 2011 Aug 02}; 53(5):414-20. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-42302007000500017&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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, it is necessary a study that seeks to evaluate the quality of life of women in climacteric, in view of the importance of the study nowadays and, still, the deficiency of researches on this subject in Brazil.

Considering the aforementioned aspects, the present study aimed to evaluate the quality of life of women in climacteric in the city of Floriano, Piauí, using the Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ). The specific objectives sought to identify the sociodemographic profile and menopausal status, highlight the most frequent symptoms and verify the intensity of the climacteric symptoms in women through IBK.

Methodology

The survey was conducted in the city of Floriano-PI, which is considered the main educational center in the southern of the states of Piauí and Maranhão and, in population data, it is the 5th largest city in the state 11Prefeitura de Floriano. Educação e Economia {Internet}. {cited 2013 Aug 15}. Available from: Available from: http://www.floriano.pi.gov.br/site/index.php/a-cidade/economia .
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. According to the IBGE census (2010), the city has 57,690 inhabitants, of whom about 53% are women 12Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Infográficos. 2010 {cited 2013 Aug 15}. Available from: Available from: http://www.ibge.gov.br/cidadesat/painel/painel.phpcodmun=220390 .
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.

This is a study of descriptive character, transversal and quantitative, made after the approval of NOVAFAPI College CEP under CAAE: 0434.0.043.000-11 on May 01st, 2012. The sample consisted of 184 women residing in Nova Sambaíba district, aged 40 -6 4 years, in periods of pre-, peri- and postmenopausal, who agreed to be part of this study by signing the Consent and Informed Term (CIT).

Women who had normal cognition degree and who were not using hormone therapy or birth control were considered eligible. In the study it was included only one woman of each residence, being the one that would be the first interviewee.

Women who did not meet the inclusion criteria and even those who had previously diagnosed diseases with symptoms similar to those present in the climacteric were excluded.

For selecting the participating subjects, the count was systematically every three domiciles in Nova Sambaíba district. In the drawn domicile where no woman in the 40-64 years age group lived, it was chosen the domicile that was to the left or right of pre-drawn one. The researcher went through the neighborhood blocks always clockwise and with the right shoulder facing the face of the block, by doing so until she completed the sample.

Interview was conducted through a form using the Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ), developed by Myra Hunter (1986) and validated for Portuguese by Dias et al. 13Dias, RS; Ramos, CC; Corrêa, FK; Trica, LA; Cerqueira, ATAR; Dalben I et al.. Adaptação para o português do questionário de auto-avaliação de percepção de saúde física e mental da mulher de meia-idade - Questionário da Saúde da Mulher. Rev Psiq Clin. {Internet}. 2002 {cited 2011 Nov 13}; 29(4):181-189. Available from: Available from: http://www.hcnet.usp.br/ipq/revista/vol29/n4/pdf/181.pdf .
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, which consists of 36 questions offering four options as a possible answer. Its questions are grouped into nine domains, randomly disposed, which evaluate: depressed mood (seven questions: 3,5,7,8,10,12 and 25), somatic symptoms (seven questions: 14,15,16,18,23,30 and 35), cognitive impairment (three questions: 20, 33 and 36), vasomotor symptoms (two questions: 19:27), anxiety (four questions: 2, 4, 6 and 9), sexual function (three questions: 24, 31 and 34), sleeping disorders (three questions: 1, 11:29), menstrual disorders (four questions: 17,22,26 and 28) and attraction (two questions: 21:32).

The responses of the domains are distributed on a scale and have four options of answers from 1 (Yes, always) to 4 (No, never). Thus, there were the following scores for each of the possible answers: "Yes, always" - 1 point; "Yes, sometimes" - 2 points; "Not much" - 3 points; "No, never" - 4 points. The score applies to all matters, except those numbers 7, 10, 21, 25, 31, 32. In such a severity score is reversed.

At the end, an average was made between the scores of the responses of each of the 36 questions, resulting in a final value that indicated symptoms more severe when domains are closest to 1, and lighter when nearer to 4, so the quality of life would be considered better on those questionnaires with mild symptomatology.

In order to verify the intensity of symptomatology, it was used the Blatt-Kupperman Index (1953), which is analyzed through various symptoms included under the denomination of climacteric syndrome, and given numerical values according to the intensity (mild = 1, moderate = 2, severe = 3), multiplied by conversion factors recommended by Kupperman, that represent the importance of the symptom in the climacteric syndrome. The global score of the sum of these values was cataloged in mild, if the sum of the values were up to 19, moderate, between 20 and 35, and severe, if higher than 35.

For characterization of the study subjects, it was prepared by the researcher a questionnaire with closed questions, in which it was evaluated the age, marital status, education, menopausal status and among the most common symptoms in climacteric women (nervousness, skin changes, anxiety, hot flashes, thinning and hair loss, hypertension, depression and osteoporosis, dyspareunia, urinary incontinence and irregular menstrual cycles), which were more frequent in women in the study.

Data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 program, which provided the results in tables. The univariate descriptive statistical analysis was by reading in percentage for each dimension of the questionnaire.

Results

Considering the objectives of this study, a priori in identifying the sociodemographic profile and menopausal status of climacteric women, it was found that the predominant age group was from 60 to 64 years (23%), followed by 40 to 44 years (21.74%). A percentage of 54.25% of these women were married, with 28.26% having completed high school. Regarding the menopausal status, it was found 63% in postmenopausal and, only 10.87% in perimenopause, according to data presented in the Table 1.

Table 1
Socio-demographic profile and menopausal status. Floriano (PI), January - February 2012

Regarding the most frequent symptoms presented by women during climacteric, it is possible to highlight that most women presented nervousness (73.9%), skin disorders (66.8%), anxiety (60.9%), hot flushes (57. 6%), thinning and hair loss (49.5%), hypertension (26.1%), depression and osteoporosis (21.2%), dyspareunia (19.6%), urinary incontinence (14.7 %) and irregular menstrual cycles (10.9%), as shown in Table 2.

Table 2
The most frequent symptoms experienced by women during climacteric. Floriano (PI), jan-feb. 2012

In the present research, intensity of climacteric symptoms, according to Blatt-Kupperman Index (IBK), was considered mild for 109 women (59.24%). Most of these women were in premenopausal (79.17%) and post menopause (52.59%). However, women who presented higher severity were premenopausal (15%), according to data presented in Table 3.

Table 3
Intensity of climacteric seconds IBK by menopausal status. Floriano (PI) January - February 2012

In order to evaluate the quality of life for climacteric women, it was used the Women's Health Questionnaire in the 184 women selected on this survey, revealing that the most affected domains among climacteric women were: sexual function, with an average of 1.9, followed by sleep disorders (2.7), somatic symptoms and cognitive impairment (2.8), vasomotor symptoms and anxiety (3.0), menstrual disorders and depressed mood (3.3), results presented in Table 4.

Table 4
Evaluation of quality of life of menopausal women according to domains of the WHQ. Floriano (PI) January - February 2012

Discussion

Climacteric is a phase marked by hormonal and emotional instability, because it coincides with children leaving home, with the beginning of progressive loss of fertility and the appearance of senescence marks, factors that contribute to psychosomatic disorders 10Galvão, LLLF; Farias, MCS; Azevedo, PRM; Vilar, MJP; Azevedo GD. Prevalência de transtornos mentais comuns e avaliação da qualidade de vida no climatério. Rev Assoc Med Bras. {Internet}. 2007 {cited in 2011 Aug 02}; 53(5):414-20. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-42302007000500017&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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,14Nievas, AF; Furegato, AR; Santos JLF. Depressão no climatério: indicadores biopsicossociais. J Bras Psiquiat {Internet}. 2006 {cited 2011 Aug 02}; 55(4):274-279. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S004720852006000400003&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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.

The most frequent symptoms mentioned by the interviewed women were nervousness (73.9%), skin disorders (66.8%), anxiety (60.9%), hot flushes (57.6%), thinning and hair loss (49.5%), and hypertension (26.1%).

Among the psychological changes, nervousness was the most prevalent symptom, followed by anxiety and depression. Such data corroborate with those found in a survey conducted in Campinas-SP, with the purpose of knowing the prevalence of climacteric, urogenital and sexual symptoms in women of Brazil, in which it was observed that psychological symptoms as nervousness (81.7%) and depression (58.1%), had a significant prevalence among women surveyed 15Pedro, AO; Neto, AMP; Paiva ,LHSC; Osis, MJD; Hardy EE. Síndrome do climatério: inquérito populacional domiciliar em Campinas, SP. Rev Saúde Públ {Internet}. 2003 {cited 2011 Aug 02}; 37(6):735-42. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S003489102003000600008&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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.

Hot flashes also had significant representation among the complaints of women in climacteric phase on this study. A research by Santos-Sá et al. 16Santos-Sá, D; Neto, AMP; Conde, DM; Pedro, AO; Oliveira, SCM; Paiva LC. Fatores associados à intensidade das ondas de calor em mulheres em climatério. Rev Assoc Med Bras {Internet}. 2006 {cited 2012 May 20}; 52(6). Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S010442302006000600021&lang=pt&tlng .
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observed that, among the three stages of climacteric, post-menopause was the one that had the greatest intensity of hot flush. This symptom, according Brazil 17Brasil, Ministério da Saúde, Secretaria de Atenção à Saúde, Departamento de Ações Programáticas Estratégicas. Manual de Atenção à Mulher no Climatério/Menopausa {Internet}. Brasília; 2008. {cited 2011 Sept 17}: Avaiable from: {cited 2011 Sept 17}: Avaiable from: http://portal.saude.gov.br/portal/arquivos/pdf/manual_climaterio.pdf .
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has variability from very mild to severe, occurring sporadically or several times a day.

In the surveyed women, there was a notorious report in the frequency of falling and reduction of hair, as well as significant abuse of the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes and dry skin (66%). These data corroborate a survey conducted in the city of Belém, Pará by Brito et al. 18Brito, NMB; Tavares, NCS; Macedo, LFC; Gonçalves BK. Avaliação da qualidade de vida em pacientes em uma unidade de saúde. Rev Para Med {Internet}. 2009{cited 2012 May 31}; 23(2): Available from: Available from: http://files.bvs.br/upload/S/0101-5907/2009/v23n2/a2001.pdf .
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, with climacteric women nonusers of HRT. On theoccasion it was observed that, among the cutaneous and mucosal symptoms, dryness of skin was mentioned by 54% of women.

Halbe et al. 6Halbe, HW; Fonseca, AM; Bagnoli, VR; Halbe, AFP; Lopes, CMC; Celestino, CA et al. Síndrome do climatério. In: Barros, ACSD, Pinotti JA. Ginecologia moderna: condutas da clínica ginecológica da faculdade de medicina da USP. Rio de Janeiro: Revinter, 2004. p. 211-36. emphasize that, after forty years, there is a reduction of the amount of dopa-positive melanocytes and a formation of lentiginous and melanosis in skin areas that are exposed, besides the loss and gradual thinning of the hair, especially in the posterior midline, being more noticeable in senility.

Systemic Arterial Hypertension (SAH) was reported by 26.1% of women of this research. Some authors 19Lessa, I; Magalhães, L; Araújo, MJ; Filho, NA; Aquino, F; Oliveira, MMC. Hipertensão arterial na população adulta de Salvador (BA) - Brasil. Arq Bras Cardiol {Internet}. 2006 {cited 2012 May 20}; 87(6) Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0066-782X2006001900011&lang=pt&tlng=#figura1 .
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,20Figueiredo Neto, JÁ; Figuerêdo, ED; Barbosa, JB; Barbosa, FF; Costa, GRC; Nina, VJS et al. Síndrome metabólica e menopausa: estudo transversal em ambulatório de ginecologia. Arq. Bras. Cardiol {Internet}. 2010 {cited 2012 May 24}; 95(3):339-345. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/abc/v95n3/aop08910.pdf .
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observed high prevalence of hypertensive women in their research, having higher incidence among the post-menopausal ones.

SAH is unleashed by several factors, such as: overweight, genetics, sedentarism, consumption of salt and alcohol, among others 21Sociedade Brasileira de Cardiologia/Sociedade Brasileira de Hipertensão/Sociedade Brasileira de Nefrologia. VI Diretrizes Brasileiras de Hipertensão. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2010 {cited 2012 May 24}; 95(1 Suppl 1): 1-51. Available from: Available from: http://publicacoes.cardiol.br/consenso/2010/Diretriz_hipertensao_associados.pdf .
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. It is believed that estrogen has a protective action on the arteries. Women in post menopause, as a consequence of hypoestrogenism, will have higher chances of cardiovascular diseases, a factor still questionable 22Castro, E; Baracho, E; Almeida, MBA; Guimarães TA. Fisioterapia no Climatério. In: Baracho, E. Fisioterapia aplicada à saúde da mulher. 5 ed., Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan 2012.p. 219-21.. Therefore, the emergence, or not, of the disease may depend on the lifestyle, menopausal phase or genetics.

In order to determine the intensity of climacteric symptoms on the selected women, the Blatt-Kupperman Index (BKI) was applied and, to understand whether there is a relation of the intensity of the symptoms reported with the stages of climacteric, it is necessary to correlate them. Thus, it is important to accentuate the definition of each.

In the studies by Santos-Sá et al. 16Santos-Sá, D; Neto, AMP; Conde, DM; Pedro, AO; Oliveira, SCM; Paiva LC. Fatores associados à intensidade das ondas de calor em mulheres em climatério. Rev Assoc Med Bras {Internet}. 2006 {cited 2012 May 20}; 52(6). Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S010442302006000600021&lang=pt&tlng .
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and Peter et al. 15Pedro, AO; Neto, AMP; Paiva ,LHSC; Osis, MJD; Hardy EE. Síndrome do climatério: inquérito populacional domiciliar em Campinas, SP. Rev Saúde Públ {Internet}. 2003 {cited 2011 Aug 02}; 37(6):735-42. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S003489102003000600008&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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, menopausal status was defined according to Jaszman (1987), who characterized as follows: pre-menopause: women with regular menstrual cycles or menstrual pattern similar to what they had during their reproductive life; perimenopause: women with menstrual cycles in the past 12 months, but with change in menstrual pattern compared to previous standards and postmenopausal women: women whose last menstrual period occurred at least 12 months before the interview.

According to data of this survey, it is possible to corroborate with the study conducted by Zahar 23Zahar, SEV; Aldrighi, JM; Neto, AMP; Conde, DM; Zahar, LO, Russomano F. Qualidade de Vida em usuárias e não usuárias de terapia de reposição hormonal. Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2005 {cited 2012 May 24}; 51(3):133-138. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-42302005000300012&lang=pt&tlng .
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, also using the BKI, in wich it was observed mild symptomatology among women in the postmenopausal stage. Martins et al. 24Martins, MAD; Nahas, EAP; Neto, JN; Uemura, G; Buttros, DAB; Traiman P. Qualidade de Vida em Mulheres na pós-menopausa, usuárias e não usuárias de terapia hormonal. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2009 {cited 2012 May 24}; 31(4):196-202. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S010072032009000400007&lang=pt&tlng .
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showed that non-users of HT (hormone therapy) in postmenopausal presented symptoms from moderate intensity to severe. However, in the survey conducted by Santos et al. 25Santos, L; Eserian, PV; Rachid, LP; Cacciatore, A; Bourget, IMM; Rojas AC, et al. Síndrome do Climatério e qualidade de vida: Uma percepção das mulheres nessa fase da vida. Rev APS. 2007 {cited 2012 May 31}; 10(1):20-26. Available from: Available from: http://www.ufjf.br/nates/files/2009/12/Climaterio.pdf .
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, with women receiving hormone therapy, it was observed that 60.9% presented moderate symptomatology.

Women in perimenopause were those who possessed greater severity of symptoms. According to Galvão et al. 10Galvão, LLLF; Farias, MCS; Azevedo, PRM; Vilar, MJP; Azevedo GD. Prevalência de transtornos mentais comuns e avaliação da qualidade de vida no climatério. Rev Assoc Med Bras. {Internet}. 2007 {cited in 2011 Aug 02}; 53(5):414-20. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-42302007000500017&lang=pt&tlng=pt .
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, during this period, climacteric symptoms are more frequent due to hormonal fluctuations, more intense on this phase.

The quality of life has passed to be built from the subjective perception of people. When it is related to health, it evaluates both the biological, physical and emotional individual functioning, predominantly individual focus 13Dias, RS; Ramos, CC; Corrêa, FK; Trica, LA; Cerqueira, ATAR; Dalben I et al.. Adaptação para o português do questionário de auto-avaliação de percepção de saúde física e mental da mulher de meia-idade - Questionário da Saúde da Mulher. Rev Psiq Clin. {Internet}. 2002 {cited 2011 Nov 13}; 29(4):181-189. Available from: Available from: http://www.hcnet.usp.br/ipq/revista/vol29/n4/pdf/181.pdf .
http://www.hcnet.usp.br/ipq/revista/vol2...
. Some studies highlight that climacteric symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction and mood disorders, as well as its intensity, can impair the quality of life of postmenopausal women 24Martins, MAD; Nahas, EAP; Neto, JN; Uemura, G; Buttros, DAB; Traiman P. Qualidade de Vida em Mulheres na pós-menopausa, usuárias e não usuárias de terapia hormonal. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2009 {cited 2012 May 24}; 31(4):196-202. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S010072032009000400007&lang=pt&tlng .
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=s...
,26Aderne, FO; Araújo RT. Influência da menopausa no padrão sexual: opinião de mulheres. Rev Saúde Com. 2007 {cited 2012 May 31}; 3(2):48-60. Available from: Available from: http://www.uesb.br/revista/rsc/v3/v3n2a06.pdf .
http://www.uesb.br/revista/rsc/v3/v3n2a0...
.

Quality of life was investigated through the WHQ domains. In this study it was observed that sexual function was the most affected domain among the women interviewed. According to Fernandez and Hayashida 27Fernandez MR; Gir E; Hayashida M. Sexualidade no período do climatério: situações vivenciadas pela mulher. Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2005{cited 2011 May 03}; 39(2):129-35. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/reeusp/v39n2/02.pdf .
http://www.scielo.br/pdf/reeusp/v39n2/02...
, the main factors for sexual activity decrease reported by women in their study were: dissatisfaction with the self-image, extramarital involvement by the husband, unleashed by suspicion and disappointment about the relationship, beyond female sexual disinterest because of libido reduction and dyspareunia.

In the past, purity of the girls was prioritized. It was common that censure, prejudice and silence surround the theme of human sexuality. Some women, even though they were created in this rigidity, changed their concept of sexuality being more open to talk, meet and review the subject. However, society expects a lot from women, and many opt for the creation of children, grandchildren and home care, leaving sometimes the marriage aside and, hence, sexuality 28Ressel LB; Gualda DMR. A sexualidade como uma construção cultural: reflexões sobre preconceitos e mitos inerentes a um grupo de mulheres rurais. Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2003 {cited 2012 May 31}; 37(3):82-7. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/reeusp/v37n3/10.pdf .
http://www.scielo.br/pdf/reeusp/v37n3/10...
,29Gradim ,C; Sousa, A; Lobo J. A prática sexual e o envelhecimento. Cogitare Enferm. 2007{cited 2012 May 23} 12 Available from: Available from: http://ojs.c3sl.ufpr.br/ojs2/index.php/cogitare/article/view/9826/6737 .
http://ojs.c3sl.ufpr.br/ojs2/index.php/c...
.

It is known that sexuality is changeable, according to the culture in which the woman is inserted, being influenced by both physical and psychological factors. For those women who experience climacteric more positively, sexual repercussions appear to be less intense 30Polisseni, AF; Polisseni, F; Polisseni, J; Borges, LV; Fernandes, ES; Guerra MO. Síndrome depressivo - ansiosa no climatério. Bol Centro Biol Reprod. 2008 {cited 2012 May 20}; 27(1/2): 7-13. Available from: Available from: http://www.editoraufjf.com.br/revista/index.php/boletimcbr/article/viewFile/592/529 .
http://www.editoraufjf.com.br/revista/in...
. After the sexual peak, around 40 years of age, and with the estrogen loss, there is a libido decrease, vaginal dryness that may cause dyspareunia, in addition to decreased urethral pressure, triggering factor to urinary incontinence 31Simões, RD; Girão, MJBC. Climatério e Menopausa. In: Etienne, MA; Waitman, MC. Disfunções sexuais femininas. A fisioterapia como recurso terapêutico. 1 ed. São Paulo: LMP Editora, 2006. p.124-30..

Depressed mood proved to be one of the least affected domains. However, Polisseni et al. 32Polisseni, AF; Araújo, DAC; Polisseni, F; Mourão Junior, CA; Polisseno, J; Fernandes ES et al. Depressão e Ansiedade em Mulheres climatéricas: fatores associados. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet 2009 {cited 2012 May 24}; 31(1):28-34. Available from: Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-72032009000100006&lang=pt&tlng .
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=s...
observed in their study a significant relationship between the presence of climacteric symptoms of moderate intensity and the occurrence of depression and anxiety, and this last one, moreover was proved to be a risk factor for depressive syndrome.

A significant number of women on this study presented nervousness and anxiety. Thus, in the future may initiate depressive disorders, if strategies are not created to prevent and deal with the problem. The fall of estrogen contributes to the appearance of emotional and psychological disorders of women in climacteric. However, the change in mood will depend mainly on the personality structure, predisposition and environment in which the woman lives 5Wender, COM; Freitas, F; Castro, JAS; Vanin C. Climatério. In: Freitas F. Rotinas em ginecologia. 5ed. Porto Alegre: Art Med, 2006. p. 542-60.,6Halbe, HW; Fonseca, AM; Bagnoli, VR; Halbe, AFP; Lopes, CMC; Celestino, CA et al. Síndrome do climatério. In: Barros, ACSD, Pinotti JA. Ginecologia moderna: condutas da clínica ginecológica da faculdade de medicina da USP. Rio de Janeiro: Revinter, 2004. p. 211-36.,33Polden, M; Mantle, J. Fisioterapia em ginecologia e obstetrícia. São Paulo: Santos; 2005..

Regarding the domain related to menstrual symptoms, these were considered mild. Therefore, it can be assumed that it is due to the fact of most of the women on this study be in postmenopausal period and no longer feel the symptoms associated with premenstrual tension, making them softer.

These were also under-represented in other studies, as on the one conducted by Polisseni et al. 34Polisseni, AF; Ferraz, ST; Grünewald, T; Fernandes, ET; Fernandes LC. Perfil das Participantes do Projeto de Extensão "Viver Melhor - Assistência Integral às Mulheres no Climatério". HU Rev. 2009 {cited2012 May 24}; 35(1):19-24. Available from: http://www.aps.ufjf.br/index.php/hurevista/article/view/439/213.
http://www.aps.ufjf.br/index.php/hurevis...
, in which, using the same assessment questionnaire (WHQ) it was demonstrated that women who are users or not of HT for menstrual symptoms had mild symptoms with no significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusion

According to the methodology applied, it is concluded that the obtained data did not show relevant impairment of these women's life quality due to climacteric. However, these values do not exclude the possibility of influence of the same on LQ, requiring more studies that take into account other aspects of climacteric.

So, perhaps preventive health policies are created, preparing women to face the changes and disorders that may occur during the phase of climacteric, reaching thus a healthier old age.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Apr-Jun 2016

History

  • Received
    29 June 2012
  • Accepted
    17 Aug 2015
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