Menopause is not your final innings. Debarati S Sen speaks to experts to find out ways to deal with the physiological and psychological changes. Yes, women do know it is inevitable, yet when the pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms begin, the alarmed, ‘What’s happening to me’? is the usual reaction.
The difficult part about this condition is that the changes women in their late 40s experience due to menopause, are not just physical but emotional and psychological as well. It signals the end of the natural fertility and periods. Gynaecologist Dr Suman Bijlani says, “Menopause is the transitional phase of a woman’s life when levels of the ‘female hormone’ estrogen plummets, leading to a myriad of effects in the female body.
The reproductive system is of course, the most affected and apart from that, your hair, skin, bones, heart, memory, emotional health and sexual life may all undergo various changes, though not necessarily negative. All in all, women need to make many mental and physical adjustments along the way.” Gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Aditi Parmar says, “When a woman enters this period the first and foremost thing to do is to accept it gracefully. Yoga, meditation, regular exercises etc can help.” If you are suffering from hot flushes, dry and painful sex or bone pains, you may be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, say doctors. “If you have undergone surgical removal of the ovaries (abrupt menopause), your hormones may need to be replaced and a gynaecologist should be consulted for the same,” states Dr Bijlani.
Apart from the day-to-day psychological irritants, serious medical problems in the form of osteoporosis and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke are important aspects to be tackled at this stage of life says Dr Aparna Buch.
However, minor lifestyle adjustments can go a long way in preventing bone loss, aches and pains and the risk of heart disease, gynaecological diseases, stroke and fractures. “One of the most important things that every woman should keep in mind is that never neglect your routine doctor visits.
The general body-checkup, yearly mammography, sonography and pap smear tests are extremely important,” says Parmar. Of course, there is no denying that this phase of a woman’s life isn’t simple to handle. However, following these simple tips can help you deal with it in a better way