Cigarette smoking quickens menopause among women —UNIJOS Gynecologist

*Says Yoruba ranks highest in twin pregnancies worldwide 

*Discloses why contraceptive usage is low among sexually active unmarried women 

Prof Amaka Ngozi Ocheke

By Achiver Peterson

A research among postmenopausalp 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 Gynaecology at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Amaka Ngozi Ocheke, has said.

Also contrary to beliefs which trace infertility to only one gender, Prof Ocheke said both male and female contribute to infertility among couples.

"Infertility affects 10-15 per cent of couples, but in Nigeria, it affects 20-30 per cent... About 30 per cent of infertility is due to female problems, 30 per cent due to male problems, and 30 per cent due to combined male/female problems, while in 10 per cent, there is no recognisable cause", the UNIJOS don said. 

She also said that Yoruba ethnic nationality has the highest rate of twin pregnancies which is the commonest type of multiple pregnancy, especially among blacks, while in Nigeria, about 10-20 per cent of all pregnancies end as 'miscarriages.' 

"Twin pregnancy is the commonest type of multiple pregnancy 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 per cent of all pregnancies end as miscarriages", Ocheke stated.

According to her, while the modern contraceptives use is higher among sexually active unmarried women (28 per cent) than currently married women (12 per cent), the Caesarean Section delivery rate has remained low at three per cent, 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 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."

She said, "In Nigeria, reported symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, loss of libido, 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 to be associated with severe symptoms."
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