Today is Women’s Day and today we are trying to address one of the biggest private issues that a woman faces as she ages. This also is one of the worst nightmares that a woman can ever have as she grows older. #LetsTalkMenopause
Yes, we are talking about Menopause; it refers to a stage in every woman’s life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function, and this occurs at an average age of 50 in India.
Let’s try and understand why Menopause happens:
A woman is born with a finite number of eggs, which are stored in the ovaries. The ovaries also make the hormones; oestrogen (collection of three reproductive hormones – oestradiol, oestrone and oestriol) and progesterone, which stimulate female characteristics at puberty and controls a woman’s reproductive cycle. Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops.
Menopause is a turning point, not a disease, but it can have a big impact on a woman’s well being.
But she should understand that although menopause can bring physical disturbance from hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms, it can also be the start of a new and rewarding phase of a woman’s life, and a golden opportunity to guard against major health risks like heart disease and osteoporosis.
Menopause is considered a normal part of aging when it happens after the age of 40. Besides aging, lifestyle is also considered one of the reasons behind menopause and other side effects. And this is of concern in modern times in cases of younger girls – where they become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger.
Menopause is a normal transition and a biological certainty for every woman and every woman’s experience is unique. Menopause if often talked about as ‘The change’, or ‘the climacteric’, or ‘the time of life’. Whatever you may refer it to as; every woman has to go through it.
Almost for every woman this natural process is a time of anxiety and distress due to the various symptoms that accompany it. Some of the symptoms are:
- More frequent periods at first, and then occasional missed periods.
- Periods that are longer or shorter
- Changes in the amount of menstrual flow
- Along with changes in your periods, physical changes in your reproductive tract occur as well.
For few women, the irregular menstrual periods are accompanied by hot flashes, troubled sleeping, and/or vaginal dryness.
After menopause, women are more likely to have:
Osteoporosis, Heart disease, A poorly working bladder and bowel, Greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling), Poor muscle power and tone, Some weakening in vision, such as cataracts, macular degeneration etc.
Now this does not point towards an end to life for a woman. In fact this should be treated as a chance to treat her life more seriously and live a more controlled life.
We all know that a lady’s best friend is her daughter and vice versa. Also I don’t think there will be any son in this world that does not love his mother and wants her to be healthy and happy ever. And same goes with all the loving husbands – All husbands love their wives immensely – Right Guys!!!
So, on this Woman’s Day, let’s invite all the sons and daughters, husbands and youth to come forward and be the true friend to their mothers/aunts/wives/other elderly ladies and educate them about menopause and pacify their inquisitiveness.
They should tell them in detail about menopause and What can be done once a lady attains menopause?
Some possible answers could be:
She can try to have a healthy lifestyle which can minimise the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. A woman should feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their body. Some tips could be:
- Chew over your diet A healthy diet is essential at this stage.
- Keep fit Regular exercise helps to convert stress into positive energy, while guarding against heart disease.
- Stop smokingSmoking has been shown to lead to an earlier menopause and trigger hot flushes.
- Drink within reasonThe combination of excessive alcohol and hormonal instability is a risky one.
- Make use of health screening services Consult a doctor and take supplements.
- Stay calm and positiveHormone imbalance during the menopause can result in added stress and even depression.
Above all, it should be borne in mind that your health is your responsibility and that you are in charge. This is a time when your body deserves some tender loving care. Living a healthy lifestyle is important throughout a woman’s life. And, it’s not too late to start at menopause. Menopause is also a great time to upgrade diet, physical activity, and stress management skills.
A Woman should always treat Menopause as a beginning of a New Era.