Experience of menopause in women with inflammatory bowel disease: pilot study

Donaldson EK1, Huang V2, Ross S1, Sydora BC1. Climacteric. 2017 Aug 17:1-7. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2017.1360861. [Epub ahead of print]
Author information

1 a Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry , University of Alberta , Edmonton , Canada. 2 b Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry , University of Alberta , Edmonton , Canada.


OBJECTIVE: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are debilitating chronic intestinal diseases requiring extensive medical intervention. Little is known how IBD symptoms and treatments affect menopause experience and quality of life. The study's goal was to investigate the relationship between IBD and menopause.

METHOD: Women with IBD, between the ages of 30 and 65 years, were recruited from an outpatient IBD clinic. They completed surveys on obstetric, medical, and IBD history and clinical disease activity. Quality of life was assessed using the validated menopause-specific quality of life (MENQOL) questionnaire.

RESULTS: Seventy-one women (47 Crohn's disease, 22 ulcerative colitis, and two indeterminate colitis, median age 45 years) enrolled into the study. Younger age of IBD diagnosis was correlated with younger age of last menstrual period (r = 0.697). IBD severity affected menopause-related quality of life in three MENQOL domains (psychosocial, physical, and sexual); the fourth domain (vasomotor) did not appear to be affected by the severity of IBD clinical disease.

CONCLUSION: Women with IBD may experience additional challenges when going through the menopause transition. Our findings support the need for further studies to better inform patients and clinicians on the relationship between IBD and menopause to optimize patient care.

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