Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 300-304

Features and perceptions of menopausal women in Benin City, Nigeria

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Institute of Child Health, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adedapo B Ande
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 1111, Benin City, Edo State, 30001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.87048

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Background/Objective: The features of menopause have always been assumed to occur only to a minor degree of significance in Nigerian women. Perceptions of menopausal symptoms are greatly influenced by social, cultural and economic settings and may influence the mode of treatment for menopausal symptoms. The aim of this study was to determine the features and perceptions of natural menopause among menopausal women in Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study of 533 randomly selected Nigerian women in Benin City, Edo State who had experienced at least 24 continuous months of amenorrhea using a structured questionnaire. Results: The ages of the women studied ranged between 47 and 78 years; mean 57.4 ± 6.3 years. The mean menopausal and menercheal ages were 49.8 ± 2.6 and 15.2 ± 2.0 years. Most (80.7%) were currently married with 63.6% in monogamous relationships. Three hundred and fifty-six women (66.8%) have heard of the word menopause and correctly described it. Menopause was considered a normal event by 97.4%. Majority (407; 77.6%) adjusted very well to the events of menopause with none revealing any serious maladjustment. Three hundred and forty-six women (64.9%) were no longer sexually active. Joint pains (287; 53.8%), hot flushes (272; 51%) and night sweats (22; 42%) were the most common symptoms believed to be related to menopause. Three hundred and two women (56.7%) actually suffered at least one of the menopause symptoms. Joint pains (52.9%), hot flushes (43.3%) and night sweats (29.8%) were the commonest symptoms experienced. Freedom from monthly bleeding (50.7%) was the most commonly reported advantage of menopause. Only thirty nine (7.3%) were aware of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and none were on /ever had HRT. Conclusion: Although menopause is well-tolerated by women in our environment, it needs further investigation. Research priorities include the influence of socio-cultural beliefs on sexuality at menopause and evaluation of HRT benefits.

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