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VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Knowledge and Attitudes of Black South African Women toward Menopause: Impact of Culture and Traditions

Lineo Matsela, Olakunle Towobola, Ephraim T Mokgokong

Citation Information : Matsela L, Towobola O, Mokgokong ET. Knowledge and Attitudes of Black South African Women toward Menopause: Impact of Culture and Traditions. J South Asian Feder Menopause Soc 2017; 5 (2):117-122.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10032-1119

License: CC BY 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2011

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; The Author(s).



Vasomotor symptoms of menopause could affect the quality-of-life of most women. The understanding of menopause by African women and the coping mechanisms of these women are essential factors that may be influenced by culture and traditions. This study has evaluated the psychosomatic and sociodemographic profiles of menopausal black South African women in order to ascertain the role played by their culture and traditions during the menopausal years.

Materials and methods

The study was carried out at three periurban districts close to the city of Pretoria, South Africa. A qualitative, prospective, community-based, cohort study was conducted over a 2-year period. The targeted population included women between 40 and 80 years, and each woman was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data on sociodemographic, psychosomatic profiles of the women as well as cultural and traditional beliefs relating to menopause were documented. The data from the study were analyzed by descriptive statistics.


Totally, 450 women were interviewed: 250 (perimenopausal) and 200 (postmenopausal). The ages of the women ranged between 42.5 and 50.8 years (perimenopausal) and between 51.5 and 68.4 years for postmenopausal women. Only 20% of the women interviewed for the study had no formal education and 78% of them were financially independent. The percentage of the women who had an understanding of menopause and expressed cultural explanations for it was 96%. The women explained the impact of support systems on which they relied and by which their attitudes toward menopause were greatly influenced. Knowledge of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and its importance in the alleviation of vasomotor symptomatology ranged between 80 and 84%, yet the women were reluctant to seek medical remedy for their vasomotor symptoms.


The study provides insight into the impact that traditions and culture of black South African women have on their capacity to cope with menopause.

How to cite this article

Matsela L, Towobola O, Mokgokong ET. Knowledge and Attitudes of Black South African Women toward Menopause: Impact of Culture and Traditions. J South Asian Feder Menopause Soc 2017;5(2):117-122.

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