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Rural women’s understanding of the concept of menopause in Limpopo Province, South Africa
The word ‘menopause’ is derived from men and pausis and is a direct description of the psychological and physical events in women where menstruation ceases to occur. It is the time in a woman‘s life when she has experienced the last menstrual bleed. Menopause is not a disease per se but a condition associated with hormonal changes where estrogen diminishes to a low level causing health related symptoms. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the knowledge of rural women concerning menopause in Mutale Municipality, South Africa. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design was used. Purposive sampling was used to select the four villages and the focus groups. Sample size was determined by data saturation. The findings of the study indicated that the rural women in Mutale community had the common traditional understanding of the concept menopause, that blood is gone, old age, it was God’ nature of doing things and that cessation of menstruation was a normal and natural transition. They could not attach cessation of menstruation to menopausal conditions but to old age and physical as well as psychological health related problems. There is need for health care providers to conduct workshops in order to enlighten rural women in this community regarding phenomenal issues of menopause.