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Past physical activity and its influence on female functioning during perimenopause

Katarzyna Szuscik-Niewiadomy 1Ryszard Plinta 2Pawel Niewiadomy 3Andrzej Knapik 2

Ginekol Pol. 2021 Mar 10.doi: 10.5603/GP.a2021.0028. 


Objectives: The objective of the study was to assess correlations between practising sports at an elite level at a young age, and the current physical activity level, selected sociometric features and the severity of menopausal symptoms in women during perimenopause, which will contribute to the knowledge about undertaking sports activity.

Material and methods: The study involved a total of 334 females aged 45-65. They were purposefully assigned to both a study and control group. The study group included 148 women – former elite athletes qualified based on the presumed criteria. The control group consisted of 154 women who did not meet the criterion of practising sports activity earlier in life. In order to conduct the study, we applied the method of a diagnostic survey. The outcome measure was a survey questionnaire and contained questions concerning sociometric features, some elements of gynaecological history, and physical activity undertaken in the past. The second part used the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Blatt-Kupperman Menopausal Index.

Results: The groups were homogenous in terms of age and BMI. The former athletes most frequently used to practise athletics, team games and swimming. Both groups displayed no differences regarding the age at menarche, the onset of sexual activity, and the presence and regularity of menstruation. The former athletes had fewer children compared to the controls. They manifested a higher level of physical activity in particular areas and intensity categories. The comparison between the two groups did not show statistically significant differences in the severity of menopausal symptoms.

Conclusions: Sports training in the past differentiates selected sociometric features such as economic activity and a numerous pregnancies and births. Sports training in the past has an impact on the current level of physical activity – the females who used to train present its higher level. Sports training in the past does not differentiate the severity of menopausal symptoms.