Menopause perception and care of menopausal women in Nigeria

  • MJ Saka
  • AA Jimoh
  • AO Saka
  • R Saidu
  • LA Yahaya
  • IF Abdul
  • IF Latinwo
  • AW Latinwo
Keywords: Focus group discussion, menopause, menstruation and myths

Abstract

Menopause is one area that has been shrouded in myths and taboos especially as related to the behaviour of women. The study therefore examined the perception of menopause and the adjustment practices adopted by menopausal women in Nigeria. The study involved both Quantitative and Qualitative method. For quantitative method the researchers designed a cross-sectional study, using structured questionnaires, targeting menopausal women in their household. Qualitative method adopted focal group study of menopausal women
aged 40 years and above. Six sessions were held for six different focal groups, each lasting 1–2 hours. A tape recorder and a notepad were used to record the discussions. Opinions of the women were sought on socio-cultural differences in the perception of menstruation, causes and consequences of menopause, sexual intercourse after menopause, social support networks for menopausal women, and types of care and treatment for women in menopause. The participants in the FGDs used various phrases to describe menopause in local terms; while some of the participants attributed menopause to diseases others viewed that it
be could be caused by witchcraft or sorcery. However, younger and old women whose menstrual flow stopped prematurely sought assistance often from traditional or spiritual healers. It was found that participants had poor
knowledge of menopausal. For instance, more than half of the  respondents had negative view of menopause and mixed feelings about religious obligations and cohabitation. In line with the findings of the study, it was recommended that women should be educated on causes and medical conditions associated with menopause in order to dispel the myths and taboos surrounding menopause. Also, education modules should be developed to assist women perceive menopause in a more positive way.
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