Personality traits in secondary amenorrhea

L. Fioroni, F. Facchinetti, G. Cerutti, G. Nappi, A. R. Genazzani

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The personality traits in 61 consecutive patients affected by secondary amenorrhea requesting help for menstrual disorders were evaluated. Patients were administered the reduced form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and a semistructured interview. Clinical, instrumental and neuroendocrine examinations were done, including plasma estrogens, luteinizing hormone (LH) pulsatility study, thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) test. Nine patients were excluded because the endocrine evaluation did not show evidence of certain pathological changes. The remaining 52 patients were considered for this study and divided into two groups according to the presence (16 cases) or the absence (36 cases) of an acute life event temporally related to the onset of amenorrhea. MMPI profiles showed high levels in all scales of 'Neurotic area' and a reduction in the correction (K) and masculinity - femininity (Mf) scales in the group with a life event. With the neuroendocrine approach 87.5% of these patients showed hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with poor or absent LH pulsatility. The MMPI profile of these patients was similar to that described above with insecurity, anxiety conversion trait, hypochondria, depression, emotional lability and difficulty of adaptation to distress. This study indicated that in amenorrheic patients characterized by a life event concomitant to the onset of the menstrual disorder, a particular personality trait of the neurotic type could be demonstrated and may indicate an inadequate reaction to stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology


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