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Title: Influence of the consumption of foods containing phytoestrogen on severity of perimenopausal symptoms among women in Njoro District, Kenya
Authors: Achar, Damaris Adoyo
Keywords: Foods -- Phytoestrogen -- Perimenopausal symptoms -- Women
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Going through peri menopause is stressful for any woman and it is often difficult to accept the changes caused by the imbalance in hormone levels in the body during this period. Perimenopause is a transitional phase that occurs before menopause and may have severe physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms. To address this problem, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been used to control the symptoms, despite the fact that HRT is associated with breast and uterine cancers. Foods that contains phytoestrogen, a plant derived estrogen, can however be used to control the symptoms with less negative effects. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of consumption of foods containing phytoestrogen on severity of perimenopausal symptoms among women aged between forty and fifty five years. Quantitative and Qualitative research methods were used in the study. The study employed descriptive survey design and was conducted in Njoro District of Nakuru County. Snowball sampling technique was used to select 118 women in perimenopausal phase. Data was collected using interviews and Focus Group Discussions. The validity and reliability of the instruments was ascertained using content validity and Cronbach coefficient alpha respectively. The reliability based on Cronbach’s alpha was 0.87. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics aided by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. The inferential statistics used were spearman’s rho (rs) rank correlation coefficient and Chi-Square to establish the influence of foods containing phytoestrogen consumed by the women on the severity of perimenopausal symptoms, and was tested at 0.05 level of significance. The findings showed that the types of foods containing phytoestrogen significantly influenced the severity of perimenopausal symptoms with nuts and soy products indicating stronger relationship. Similarly the high frequency and duration of consumption of foods containing phytoestrogen significantly reduced the severity of the perimenopausal symptoms. Those who started during childhood and adolescence, 61% of the participants experienced between none to medium levels of severity of the symptoms, while those who started during adulthood, 39% experienced high to very high levels of severity of the symptoms. This study revealed that most of the interviewed women (84%) seemed to be ignorant about perimenopausal phase and the symptoms experienced during this time. The study recommends awareness creation on the perimenopausal phase and its implication; this will empower the women to take control over their lives during this difficult phase in their lifespan. It can be done through health institutions, women groups and schools.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Education and Community Studies

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