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Revista médica de Chile

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QUEVEDO L, Iván; FLORES O, Maritza  and  CASTILLO N, Marcelo. Reproductive history of women consulting in emergency services in a southern region of Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.8, pp.929-934. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The occurrence and timing of menstrual and reproductive events such as menarche, regularity of menses, births, maternal breastfeeding and menopause play an important role in a woman's life. Aim: To study the variability of reproductive live from menarche to menopause in different age groups in Chilean Caucasian and Mapuche aborigine females in a southern location of Chile. Subjects and Methods: A questionnaire about reproductive history was answered by 502 women consulting in six general emergency rooms of different public hospitals of the 8th region of Chile, between May and September 2002. Results: The median age at menarche was 12.8 years among adolescents and 13.7 years among older women (p <0.001). Fecundity rate was 5.2, 3.9 and 1.8 among older women, adults and young adults, respectively. Forty seven percent of adolescent had at least one child. The median age for natural menopause was 47 years. Eighty one percent of older women and 65% of adult women had given breastfeeding for more than six months. No statistical differences in reproductive characteristics were observed between Chilean Caucasians and Mapuche aborigines. Conclusions: Among these women, the age of menarche in younger women is similar to that of women from industrialized countries. Fecundity has been progressively decreasing. Menopause tends to occur sooner than in other geographical regions, probably due to the high number of surgical sterilizations in our population. Adolescent pregnancy still is a problem

Keywords : Menarche; Menopause; Reproductive behavior; Reproduction.

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