A Spotlight on Menopause in Africa

Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology


  • Dorcas Muchiri Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford




Menopause, Africa, Menopause in Africa, Menopausal symptoms


Background: Menopause is a retrospective diagnosis defined by the World Health Organization as the
permanent cessation of menstruation resulting from the loss of ovarian follicular activity. With more
women living longer, all those above the age of 50 years will experience menopause, with a smaller
number experiencing this before 40 – 49 years without their knowledge. Menopause contributes to
significant public health conditions, such as cardiovascular, bone, cognitive, and mental health
conditions. The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) is an internationally validated tool for measuring the
severity of menopausal symptoms. The WHO notes a challenge in awareness and access to
menopause-related information and treatment for women and health care providers in most countries.
Little is known about the experience of menopause in African women, and the MRS scale has limited use
in the Kenyan setting, presenting gaps in research and practice.
Objectives: To raise awareness of menopause and test the usability and local context of MRS in the
assessment of menopausal symptoms in African women.
Methods: 304 of 403 attendees on an urban community health education day voluntarily completed a
survey adapted from the MRS.
Results: While 80% of women globally report hot flushes as the commonest symptom, only 41% of
women over 50 years if age had hot flushes. The most common symptoms were musculoskeletal pain
and mood swings at 74.1% and 45.8%, respectively.
Conclusion: Work is needed to streamline the use and adaptability of the MRS for Swahili-speaking
countries. More community health awareness, research, and advocacy are needed to address the
public health concerns arising from menopause in Africa.




How to Cite

Muchiri, D. (2024). A Spotlight on Menopause in Africa: Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Eastern and Central Africa, 36(1). https://doi.org/10.59692/jogeca.v36i1.189