Original Research

Perceptions of menopause and aging in rural villages of Limpopo Province, South Africa

Nditsheni J. Ramakuela, Henry A. Akinsola, Lunic B. Khoza, Rachel T. Lebese, Augustine Tugli
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 19, No 1 | a771 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v19i1.771 | © 2014 Nditsheni J. Ramakuela, Henry A. Akinsola, Lunic B. Khoza, Rachel T. Lebese, Augustine Tugli | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2013 | Published: 13 November 2014

About the author(s)

Nditsheni J. Ramakuela, School of Health Sciences, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Henry A. Akinsola, School of Health Sciences, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Lunic B. Khoza, School of Health Sciences, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Rachel T. Lebese, School of Health Sciences, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Augustine Tugli, School of Health Sciences, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The term ‘menopause’ is derived from the Greek words men (month) and pausis (a cessation, a pause). It 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 her last menstrual bleed. Menopause is not a disease per se but a condition associated with hormonal changes where oestrogen diminishes to a low level, causing aging-related health problems.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of menopause and aging amongst women in rural villages of Vhembe District in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Method: The study was qualitative and explorative, using phenomenological approach. Purposive sampling was used to select the four villages and to select the focus groups. Sample size was determined by data saturation.

Results: The study findings were that participants in the villages associated cessation of menstruation to aging rather than menopause. Once menstruation stopped, one was regarded as old.

Conclusion: The conclusions of the study were that (1) menopausal issues should be emphasised and receive priority from puberty at the girls initiation schools, high schools, churches, other community resources and health care services so that when women reach menopause, (2) they should accept and be able to effectively cope with menopause and aging. (3) Emphasis should also be placed on menopause as the aspect of human aging.

 

Agtergrond: Die term ‘menopouse’ is afgelei van die Griekse woorde menos (maand) en pausis (onderbreking/pouse, einde) en is ’n direkte beskrywing van die psigologiese en fisiese gebeure in vroue waar menstruasie ophou voorkom. Dit is die tyd in ’n vrou se lewe wanneer die laaste menstruele bloeding ervaar word. Menopouse is nie ’n siekte per se nie, maar ’n toestand wat geassosieer word met hormonale veranderings waar estrogen afneem tot ’n vlak wat gesondheidsverwante probleme veroorsaak.

Doelstelling: Die doel van die studie was om persepsies ten opsigte van menopause en veroudering onder landelike vroue in die Vhembe-distrik in Limpopo Provinsie, Suid-Afrika, te verken.

Metode: Die studie was kwalitatief en verkennend, met ’n fenomenologiese benadering. Doelgerigte steekproefneming is gebruik om die vier dorpies en deelnemers van die fokusgroepe te selekteer. Die steekproefgrootte is bepaal deur dataversadiging.

Resultate: Die bevindings was dat die deelnemers die einde van menstruasie aan ouderdom, en nie aan menopause nie, toeskryf. Wanneer menstruasie stop, word ’n vrou dus as oud beskou.

Gevolgtrekkings: Aanbevelings was dat (1) menopausale onderwerpe reeds beklemtoon behoort te word vanaf puberteit in inisiasieskole, hoërskole, kerke en gemeenskappe en gesondheidsdienste sodat, wanneer menopouse bereik word, (2) vroue dit kan aanvaar en positief ervaar. (3) Klem behoort ook op menopause as ’n menslike aspek van veroudering gelê te word.


Keywords

Menopause, Culture, Sex and aging

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