Knowledge and Attitude of Women towards Menopause

The Knowledge and Attitude of Women (40-60 Yrs) Towards Menopause in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State

ABSTRACT

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 and attitude to women (40-60 yrs) towards menopause in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The target populations used for this study were the 400 women aged 40-60 years. The stratified sampling method was used and participation in this study was based on obtaining informed consent. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire consisting of three parts: demographic information, questions to assess knowledge and attitude investigation questions. Sampling technique was used to select the six communities and the focused group in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Sample size of 117 subjects was determined by data saturation. The validity was assessed by the fellow course mates, knowledgeable aged women and the researcher’s supervisor. Data collected from the questionnaire was analyzed using tables, percentages and bar charts. The findings of the study indicated that women in Idemili South Community had the common 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 old age and physical as well as physiological health related problems, and % of 57 and 56% got their information about menopause was positive for the 74% of women while 57% of women have negative influence towards it. The conclusion was based on the findings of the study, 58% of the respondents were acknowledged about menopause and 56.1 were not. The study recommended that more avenues should be created to disseminate information concerning this natural but compulsory phase of life for women. There is need for health care providers to conduct workshops in order to enlighten the women in this community regarding the phenomenal issues of menopause.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Appropriate understanding of women that certain physical, mental, social and psychological changes occur during menopause helps them with greater readiness to cope with these changes. Nowadays, health systems have described their plans based on the family’s health. Women are considered as the base of family health, which, in addition to health management of family members, are original patterns of training and propagating a healthy lifestyle to the next generation. Women have greater population and their average age and life expectancy is more than men, but their imperfection and disability is higher and they face special issues resulting from their natural and physiological conditions; one of these issues is the menopausal transition period or final years of pregnancy. Menopause is one of the natural and important processes of women’s life, where it’s main feature is fertility and menstruation ending. Regarding life expectancy in Iraq, women spend about one-third of their life in this period. Despite this overall increase, the ratio of menopause women in industrialized countries will decrease to 24%, while this number will reach 76% in developing countries. Women during menopause period experience certain physical and psychological changes and face various problems such as urogenital, psychological, social, cardiovascular and neurological problems. These problems not only cause great distress and disability for the person but also impose a lot of pressure on the limited resources of the countries’ health care system. Familiarity with these changes and understanding their reasons are essential in the life of all women, and helps them enter this stage of their life with adequate knowledge and a positive attitude.

Studies performed in Iran in the field of investigating the level of women’s knowledge and attitude toward menopause indicate inadequate knowledge and negative attitude toward this phenomenon among Iranian women. Palank writes: “knowledge is a basic condition for the use of health services and attitude is an effective organizing principle in performing an action and can start a health behaviour due to the effect it has on the person.” He believes that creating knowledge and a positive attitude is a useful and logical issue for making continuous changes in behaviour. One way to achieve this is through health education. Health education is one of the most important ways of women’s empowerment and, as we know, the first recognition and analysis of the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of the subjects, based on which to be able to perform the next steps for designing and implementing education programs. Unfortunately, so far in our country, policies and programs of women’s health promotion are specifically limited to specific issues such as pregnancy and family planning, and enough attention is not paid to other women’s health needs, including the problems of menopausal transition period. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the knowledge and attitude of 40-50-year-old women under the coverage of Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State health care centers about menopause phenomenon based on its results to be able to design suitable education programs for improving life quality and promoting women’s health during menopause. It is a natural, biological process in any or every women’s life which is inevitable and uncontrollable.

Women, face lots of health challenges and menopause is one of the health challenges if not the most important and crucial part in a woman’s life because every woman who still has the breath of life in her must pass through this stage or phase of life. Menopause is the physiological changes in the life cycle of a female; it’s a natural but compulsory phase of life for women. Menopause is the cessation of a woman’s menstrual periods, demarcating the end of her child bearing years. In the U.S, women experience menopause at the average age of 51, according to the mayo clinic. While menopause is a natural process, evolutional biologists have tried to explain alternative social and evolutional reasons for its occurrence, especially given that men’s reproductive abilities continues as they get older, but women’s don’t. This ties into the theory of natural selection, the mechanism by which biological traits are kept in the gene pool because certain individuals who are fit for reproducing than others. Those without favourable traits are often infertile and unable to reproduce.

Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life that accompanies many symptoms, common misconceptions, and uncomfortable questions. For most American women, the menopause experience includes ageism (negative stereotypes and institutionalized discrimination against older people), sexism (prejudice and discrimination against women), and medicalization (the notion that natural biological processes need medical supervision or intervention). These societal attitudes can undermine their confidence and encourage unnecessary reliance on hormone treatment, other medical interventions. Yet society and some women still put a negative cast on “the change”, psychologists say. Reasons include menopausal physical discomfort such as hot flushes and night sweats, the fact that physicians and pharmaceuticals and pitch menopause as a medical problem and society’s propensity to pair menopause with that great cultural no-no, aging. Women feel either relieved or neutral about the end of menstruation. The natural menopause appears to have no major impact on health or health behaviour.

Statement of problem

Menopause is a natural mandatory phase of life in the middle-aged women. It is present in every phase of women. Irrespective of their educational background or marital status, yet many women lack its knowledge. On several occasion where women kept going to hospital for the treatment of illness after another, only to finally come up with the diagnosis of menopause and its associated signs and symptoms. Menopause been absent of zero menstrual period in women either educated, non-educated has severally confused women who still want to have more children as they keep on visiting antenatal clinic thinking that they are pregnant due to the cessation of their menstrual flow, only for them to find out that they have reached into their menopause period.

Purposes of the study

The purpose of this study is to determine the knowledge and attitude of women aged (40-60 yrs) in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State towards menopause.

Specific Objectives

  1. To determine the knowledge of women about menopause.
  2. To determine their sources of information.
  3. To determine their attitude towards the occurrence of menopause
  4. To find out the factors that influences their attitude.

Significance of the study

Finding from the study will help to extend the understanding of women towards menopause, and help to enlighten them more to cope better with this condition when it occurs. Also it can help them to know that it is a natural phenomenon that occurs on its own so as to reduce their fears and worries that normally come with the signs, symptoms and cessation of menstrual period. Research Questions

  1. Do women have the knowledge about menopause?
  2. Where do women get their information from?
  3. How do women react towards the occurrence of menopause?
  4. What are the factors that influence the attitude of women?

Scope of the study

          The purpose of this study is designed to determine the knowledge and attitude of women towards menopause. It is limited to between the ages (40-60 yrs) in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Operational definition of terms

  1. Knowledge: The awareness of women aged (40-60 yrs) to menopause.
  2. Attitude: The opinion and perception of these women towards menopause.
  3. Menarche: When the menstrual period commences and other bodily changes occur.
  4. Menstruation: The flow of blood from the uterus through the small opening in the cervix and passes out of the body through the vagina.

—This article is incomplete———–This article is incomplete———— It was extracted from a well articulated quality Project, Research Work/Material

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The Knowledge and Attitude of Women (40-60 Yrs) Towards Menopause in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State

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