The Menopausal Experience of Libyan Women

Original Article


Yousef A Taher, Hajir M ben Emhemed, Ahmed M Tawati

1-Department of Pharmacology, 2-Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, AL-Fateh Medical University, Tripoli, Libya

JMJ 2009,Vol.9, No.3: 184-190


Background: Studies of the menopause have received much attention recently. Objective: The present study aimed to evaluate the onset of natural menopause in Libyan women, and to explore the prevalence of menopause-related symptoms experienced by them. Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Tripoli , Libya between October 2001 and June 2002. A total of 91 women aged 43 years and above were recruited from both urban and rural areas. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and face-to-face interviews and included a number of lifestyle variables. Results: The mean age and standard deviation (SD) of participants was 53±5.4 years, and the median age of the menopause was 47 years (mean ±SD = 48±4.2, range 43-63). Out of 20 possible symptoms, the mean number of symptoms was 8.36. The most frequently reported symptoms were ‘hot flushes’ and ‘aching in muscles and joints’ at 74.4%. The least prevalent symptom was frequently increased bone fracture (11.6%). Increasing education positively associated with more symptoms reported, and increased tea or coffee consumption resulted in fewer symptoms reported. The present study showed that employed and unemployed women experienced alike symptoms and disorders. Of the total subjects, 8.1% reported no symptoms. In the four domains, 87.2% reported physical symptoms, 83.7% reported psychosocial symptoms, 76.6% reported vasomotor symptoms and 48.8% reported sexual symptoms. In addition, our data showed that there is a significant concordance between the four domains. Besides, the present study demonstrated that the most common disease associated with the frequency of menopausal symptoms was osteoarthritis (74.4%), followed by hypertension (37.2%), heart disease (20.9%) and diabetes mellitus (19.8%). Only 15.1% of the total subjects had no specific disease. Conclusion: The age of menopause in Libyan women, as in other developing countries, is less than the median age reported from Western women. The menopausal women experienced various symptoms and morbidities as part of a normal life was stage, and their quality of life was negatively affected by these symptoms.

Keywords: Age, Menopause, Climacteric symptoms, Libyan women.