Perception and experience of menopause among primary school teachers in Jos North, north central Nigeria
Background: As life expectancy increases,most women spent a larger part of their lives in the post-menopausal state,with part of this during the peak of their career for working class women. Perception, attitude and experience of the menopause and its transitional period may differ from one female population to the other.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the perception and experience of menopause among a group of educated Nigerian career women, and how menopausal symptoms affect their family relationship and work performance.
Method: This was a cross sectional study.Two hundred and twenty five post menopausal primary school teachers in Jos North were administered structured questionnaires.The information obtained were analysed using Epi info 2002 statistical software.
Results: Most of the women (99.1%) felt that menopause was a natural process of aging.The most frequently reported symptoms were low backache or muscle pains (72.9%),poor memory or forgetfulness (63.6%),hot flushes (51.1%) and tiredness (49.8%).
Over half (55.6%) of the women were sexually active with 84.8% of them reporting reduced libido.Over half (56%) of the women studied felt that menopause negatively affected their work performance.Only 8% of the women had heard of hormone replacement therapy.
Conclusion: Post-menopausal primary school teachers in Jos North have a positive perception of menopause. Menopausal symptoms are also common and this negatively affects work performance in quite a number of them.
Keywords: Perception,Experience,Menopause,Primary school teachers