The Attitude Of Women Towards Menopause

 The Attitude Of Women Towards Menopause

     CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

At the turn of the century,when few people lived more than 50 years,Menopause was not an issue that would make women worry about.Women were more pre-occupied with serious illnesses and looming deaths, than with hot flashes (sudden sensations of flushing and heat that some women experience when they are undergoing through menopause).

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Today, it is an issue of  concern to majority of women within the globe.

According to healy (2002), he noted that menopause not only ends a woman’s reproductive life but does so when she is still young.With current female life expectantcy at 80 years, this epochal event comes back in the middle of her life.

Menopause is the time when a woman stops having her menstrual periods. It is usually around the age of 50 years. According to willam 2004,

menopause is time in a woman’s life when the function of the ovaries cease.The ovary or female gonad is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women.

They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and female hormones such as estrogen. During each monthly menstrual cycle,an egg is released from the ovary through a fallopian tube to the uterus.The ovaries are the main sources of female hormones which control the development of female body characteristics such as the breast, body shape and body hairs. The hormones also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.Estrogen also protects the bone. Therefore a woman can develope osteoporosis (thinning of bone) later in life when ovaries do not produce adequate estrogen. According to Suzanne (1971) menopause does not occur over night but rather a gradual process of transition period (know as pre-menopause) which is different from individuals. Women on premenopause transition typically experience abnormal vaginal bleeding such aserratic menstrual periods and abnormal bleeding patterns. Eventually a woman’s period will completely stop as she completes this transition into menopause. A woman is in menopause if she has no menstrual period (menses) for 12 calender months and has no other medical reason for such (wikipedia 2011).

World health organisation (1999) reported about higher incidence of menopause symptoms among the women of Europe and america than women in the developing countries like Nigeria. Although menopause as a physiological event remains constant, and attitude towards belief about menopause vary considerablly,historically and cross-culturally.

There are people who hold the view that a woman’s sex life is over at menopause. According to Mcsweeney (1999) it is completely a fallacy that a woman’s sex life are finished when the menopause occurs. The fact that false belief about the menopause vary much from country to country in itself  and indication of their false.

In line with the aforesaid above, the study is aimed at educating the women about menopause to avoid feeling frustrated thereby affecting their marital life negatively.

1.2       Statement of Problems

Menopause is part of ageing in the life of every woman. It comes naturally, irrespective of the social, cultural background or status. It is a physiological event occuring with ovarian failure and marks the end of women’s reproductive life. In line with the above, menopause has affected the life of many women within the globe. This results to inability of some couple to cope with life expectancy of menopause thereby bringing disunity among couples. The researcher intention is to educate women, specifically women of Enugu south on the strategic ways of coping with menopause to avoid bringing disunity in their respective homes.

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1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge and attitude of women towards menopause in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State. Specially the study intends to,

  1. 1. Determine the knowledge of women in Enugu South Local Government Area towards menopause.
  2. 2. Find out the attitude of women in Enugu South Local Government Area towards menopause.
  3. 3. Determine the management techniques of the women towards menopause.

1.4       Scope of the Study

The study is limited to an examination of knowledge and attitude of women towards menopause with particular reference to Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.

It will also expose the level of womens knowledge towards menopause, the nature of their attitude over menopause and different management strategies and techniques of coping with  menopause.

1.5       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will hopefully be of immense benefit to the women of Enugu South Local Government Area, general public and future researchers. It will save the women from the embrrassment they experience on the unset of menopause. It may also help to make them see menopause as something natural rather than abnormal. To the general public, It will help them to understand issues concerning women menopause and help to ensure peace and unity within the family.The findings may be of help also to the researchers who may like to carry further studies on different areas of menopause.

1.6       Research Questions

  1. 1. Does women of Enugu South Local Government Area knowledgable enough about women menopause ?
  2. 2. What is their attitude towards menopause ?
  3. 3. To what extent do they manage menopause with their family life

           CHAPTER TWO

2.0       LITERATURE REVIEW

The review of related literature shall cut across the following.

The concept of menopause, stages of menopause indications,signs and symptom. The physiological changes in menopause management of menopause knowledge of menopause among women.

2.1       Concept of Menopause

Hafez (1976) defined menopause as the final phase of the female reproductive ability when there is cessation of menstrual periods and considered complete after one full year of amenorrhea and schiff quoted by Ryem (1990) stated that menopause denotes the permanent cessation of menses. According to Buchhaum (1984) climacteric can be defined as the periods of warning ovarian functions which signal the end of the reproductive life span. During this periodwhich usually extends over some years, the outstanding biological event is the cessation of menstruation, the menopause.

Novak (1990) stated that the term menopause means the final cessation of menses, where as the climateric implies a transitional period in the life of an individual during which the reproductive function is diminished and lost.

Longman dictionary defined menopause as the natural cessation of menstruation occuring usually between the ages of 45_50 years.

Wanstein (1998) observed that the average age at menopause in united state is around ages 50. But some women go through natural menopause as early as 35, while others don’t experience it untill their late 50. Rogers (1999) says that the actual menopause is said to have occured when there has been complete and permanent cessation of menstruation, although an interval of 6-12 months of amenorrhoea is usually necessary to establish this fact definitely.

World Health Organisation (1999) defined menopause as the time of a woman’s life when reproductive capacity ceases. Lewis and chambers lan (1993) say it is the termination of reproductive period of life in a woman which is marked by the cessation of the menstrual periods.

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Menopause is a term used to describe the permanent cessation of the primary functions of the human ovaries: the ripening and release of ova and the release of hormones that cause both the creation of the uterine lining and the subsequent shedding of the uterine lining (a.k.a the menses).

Menopause typically (but not always) occurs in women in midlife, during their late 40s or early 50s, and signals the end of the fertile phase of a woman,s life.

The transition from reproductive to non-reproductive is the result of a major reduction in female hormonal production by the ovaries. This transition is normally not sudden or abrupt, tends to occur over a period of years and is a natural consequence of aging. However, for some women, the accompanying signs and the effects that can occur during the menopause transition years can significantly disrupt their daily activities and their sense of well-being. In addition, women who have some sort of functional disorder affecting the reproductive system (i.e endometriosis,polycystic ovary syndrome , cancer of the reproductive organs) can go into menopause at a younger age than the normal time fram; then functional disorders often significantly speed up the menopausal process and create more significant health problems, both physical and emotionally for the effect woman.

The word “menopause” literally means the end of monthly cycles” from the Greek word pausis (cessation) and the root men-(month), because the word “menopause” was created to describe this change in human females, where the end of fertility is traditionally indicated by the permanent stopping of monthly menstruation or menses. However, menopause also exists in some other animals, many of which do not have monthly menstruation, in this case, the term is synonymous with “end of fertility”.

The date of menopause in human females is formally medically defined as the time of the lost menstrual period (or menstrual flow of any amount, however small), in those women who have not had a hysterectomy. Women who have their uterus removed but retain their ovaries do not immediately go into menopause, even though their periods cease. Adult women who have their ovaries removed however, go immediatelly into surgical menopause, on matter how young they are. Menopause is an unavoidable change that every woman will experience, assuming  she reaches middle age and beyond. It is helpful if women are able to learn what to expect and what options are available to assist the transiton, If that becomes necessary. Menopause has a wide starting range, but can usually be expected in the age range of 42-58 (Bucher, etal 1930). An early menopause can be related to cigarette smoking, higher body mass index, racial/ethnic factors, illnesses, chemotheraphy, radiation and the surgical removal of the uterus and or both ovaries (Bucher etal 1930).

Menopause can be officially declared (in an adult woman who is not pregnant, is not locating, and who has an intact uterus) when there has been amenorrhea (absence of any menstruation) for one complete year. However, there are many signs and effects that lead up to this point, many of which extend well beyond it too.These include: irregular menses, vasomotor instability (hot flashes and night sweats), atrophy of genitourinary tissue, increased stress, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, forgetfulness, mood changes and in certain cases osteoporosis and/or heart disease (Bucher etal, 1931).These effects are related to the hormonal changes a woman’s body is going through, and they affect each woman to a different extent. The only sign or effect that all women universally have in common is that by the end of the menopause transition every woman will have a complete cessation of menses.

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2.2       Stages of Menopause

Menopause occurs in three major stages

  1. 1. Perimenopause
  2. 2. Premenopause
  3. 3. Post menopause

The whole process of menopause can take 15 years or longer, depending on your age and family history.

The first signs of menopause are irregular periods and spotting due to fluctuating hormone levels in the body although, it is still possible to get pregnant during perimenopause as eggs may be released from the ovaries, ovulation will probably be sporadic. Perimenopause can last up to 2 to 5 years, but some women can remain in this stage of menopause for 15years. Fluctuating hormone levels will probably cause some menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and irritability.

Perimenopause is the term used to describe the menopause transition years. In women who have uterus, perimenopause describes the years before and after the final period (although it is only possible to determine in retrospect which episode to flow was indeed the final period). As a medical convenience, perimenopause is technically defined as the time from which menses start to become irregular and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels have increased, through until 12 months after the last menstrual bleed. However, the hormonal changes are gradual, both in onset and in termination, therefore the various possible perimenopause effects often start before and continue after this neatly defined time slot. During perimenopause, the ovarian production of the estrogens and progesterone becomes more irregular, often with wide and unpredictable fluctuations in levels. During this period, fertility diminishes, but is not considered to reach zero until the official date of menopause. The official date is determined retroactively, once 12 months have passed after the last appearance of menstrual blood. Signs and effect of the menopause transition can begin as early as 35years although most women become aware of the transition in their mid to late 40s, often many years after the actual beginning of the perimenopause with noticeable bodily effects can be as brief as a few years, but it is not unusual for the duration to last ten or more years. The actual duration and severity of perimenopause effects for any individual woman currently cannot be predicted in advance. Even during the process, the course of an individual woman’s perimenopause can be difficult if not impossible to predict.

During the perimenopause years, many women undergo noticeable and clinically observable physical changes resulting from hormonal fluctuations. The most well known of these is the “hot flash”or “hot flush,” a sudden temporary increase in body temperature. The “flash” sensation in a “hot flash” occurs as the body temperature soars upward, reaching a peak very rapidly.

The Attitude Of Women Towards Menopause

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