Gynecologist explains early menopause, twin pregnancy, early conception, others
A research among postmenopausal women has indicated that cigarette smoking is one of the factors responsible for their attainment of menopause at 45 years, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Amaka Ngozi Ocheke, has said.
She said, “In Nigeria, reported symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, loss of libido, fatigue, fatigue, joint and muscle discomfort, depressive feelings, sweating, and physical and mental exhaustion as is the case with women in other parts of the world.
“Our research among postmenopausal women revealed that women attained menopause at 45 years and that HIV infection, cigarette smoking, quality of life, and stage of the menopause transition are associated with severe symptoms.”
Infertility and gender
Also, contrary to beliefs that trace infertility to only one gender, she said both males and females contribute to infertility among couples.
“Infertility affects 10-15 percent of couples, but in Nigeria, it affects 20-30 percent… About 30 percent of infertility is due to female problems, 30 percent due to male problems, and 30 percent due to combined male/female problems, while in 10 percent, there is no recognisable cause”, the UNIJOS don said.
Twin pregnancy and the Yoruba
She also said that Yoruba ethnic nationality has the highest rate of twin pregnancies which is the commonest type of multiple pregnancies, especially among blacks, while in Nigeria, about 10-20 percent of all pregnancies end as ‘miscarriages.’
“Twin pregnancy is the commonest type of multiple pregnancies occuring more commonly in blacks with the highest rate among the Yoruba.
“Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) is a pregnancy that ends spontaneously before the fetus has reached 28 weeks in Nigeria. About 10-20 percent of all pregnancies end as miscarriages, “Ocheke stated.
According to her, while modern contraceptives use is higher among sexually active unmarried women (28 percent) than currently married women (12 percent), the Caesarean Section delivery rate has remained low at three percent, according to the National Demographic Health Survey (2018) due to factors including fear of operation, lack of finance, fear of stigmatization, poor availability of and/or accessibility to health services.
Ocheke, who teaches O & G in the Faculty of Health Sciences in UNIJOS, stated these while delivering the 106th inaugural lecture of the institution titled, “The Odyssey of the Nigerian Uterus: Bumps, Potholes, and Accidents.”
The Nigerian Demographic and Health Surveys, NDHS, in its latest report in 2013 revealed that 23 per cent of Nigerian teenage girls were already mothers or pregnant with their first child.
The findings of the 2013 survey are similar to that of 2008, with the next survey due in 2018.
The 2013 report stated that one in six (17 per cent) Nigerian girls between the age of 15 and 19 already have a child with another five per cent pregnant with their first child.
One of the findings of the survey was that young girls in rural areas were more likely to get pregnant than their counterparts in urban areas.
The proportion of teenage girls who had begun child bearing in rural areas, according to the report, was 32 per cent as compared to 10 per cent in urban areas.
The report also showed variations across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. The north-west has 36 per cent prevalence of teenage pregnancy, while the south-east and south-west have the lowest prevalence rate with eight per cent each.
Education also plays a major role in preventing teenage pregnancy, the study found.
The survey found that teenagers with no education represent about half of those who had begun childbearing, while only two per cent of teenagers with more than a secondary education have begun childbearing.
Family income was also a major factor with the report finding that teenagers from poorer homes are more likely to be pregnant. Teenagers in the lowest wealth quintile are more than twice as likely to have started childbearing as those in the middle wealth quintile (43 percent and 21 percent, respectively), and almost 10 times as likely as those in the highest quintile.
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