Age at Natural Menopause in India: An Anthropological Study of Determinants, Symptoms and Attitude among Rural Women of North Karnataka

Age at natural menopause is a vital biological event in every woman’s life because of the increase in diseases and other problems after middle age. The timing of the menopause can’t be accurately predicted or determined and differs greatly from one woman to another and from one ethnic group to another. The cross-sectional study was conducted among the rural women of North Karnataka. The study includes 101 rural women who were farmers, labourers and housewives, have achieved menopause naturally (women with oophorectomy were excluded). The main objective of the present study is to find out the age at natural menopause, factors determining the event, examination of symptoms prevailing and to report the attitude of women towards menopause. The multiple regression analysis of the variables with the age at natural menopause showed the significant positive association of age of respondents, occupation, age at menarche, breastfeeding duration and significant inverse correlation with marital status and education with age at natural menopause. The study also found that the great number of women with the habit of consuming gutka, tobacco with betel leaf and nuts had bad oral health and reported much oral distress after menopause. 45.5% women had a positive attitude towards menopause. These women seek independence after menopause. Whereas 42.5% women didn’t find any difference in living before and after menopause.