Author(s): Olaolorun FM, Lawoyin TO
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and distribution of menopausal symptoms among women in Ibadan in the 4-week period preceding the survey and factors associated with these symptoms. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional, community-based study was carried out on Nigerian women aged 40 to 60 years, using the multistage sampling technique. Quantitative data were collected on sociodemographic, obstetric, and gynecological variables as well as symptom experience in the preceding 4 weeks using a structured questionnaire that included a standardized Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). Eleven symptom groups were scored for each respondent on a scale of 0-4, with increasing severity for each score and a maximal total score of 44. The MRS is made of three subscales (somatovegetative, psychological, and urogenital) with maximal scores of 16, 16, and 12, respectively. Scores for each subscale and the overall total score were calculated for each respondent, and these served as the main outcome measures. The higher the composite score, the greater the severity of menopausal symptoms. RESULTS: In all, 1,189 women with a mean age of 48.1 +/- 5.9 years were interviewed. Prevalence of any menopausal symptom was 84.5\% during the 4-week period studied. Joint and muscular discomfort was the most common reported symptom among all women in this study (59.0\%), followed by physical and mental exhaustion (43.0\%), sexual problems (40.4\%), and hot flashes (39.0\%). Factors predicting the total score on the MRS were age of respondent (P = 0.01; 95\% CI, 0.02-0.17), menopause status (P = 0.001; 95\% CI, 0.33-1.24), and occupational group (P = 0.02; 95\% CI, 0.10-1.42). Age of respondent and menopause status also predicted scores on the somatovegetative and urogenital subscales, but not on the psychological subscale. Occupation was the only predictor on the psychological subscale (P = 0.002; 95\% CI, 0.16-0.75). CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of menopausal symptoms was high among women in this study. Although any woman could face challenges associated with menopausal symptoms, those who were older, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal and who had routine or manual occupations had the highest total MRS scores. All women, especially those in these categories, should receive health information and guidance on possible lifestyle adjustments to ease the disruptions that menopausal symptoms can cause.
This article was published in Menopause
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine