Menopause is the term described as women’s last menstrual cycle , in general women after menopause loose reproductive capacity by not having hormonal cycles regularly.
Questions come to mind about menopause is that is menopause normal phenomenon or is it unusual phenomenon ? What should women do if there are adverse changes in the body and mind ? How does menopause a topic of psychological concern ?
Here is the answer. Menopause is absolutely a normal process and it is period of transition from reproductive to non reproductive state , But the effects and changes that a women experiences is individualized and highly variable Menopause is major turning point in a women’s life which involves a process of change and every woman experience and cope with this transition in unique and individual ways.
The common post menopausal effects include both long-term and short-term .
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats,
- Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
- Vaginal changes
- Mood changes
- Skin changes
- Ageing signs
- Osteoporosis (loss of bone mass)
- Coronary artery diseases ( related to blood vessels)
- Sudden weight gain
- Lethargy, poor muscle tone
- Deterioration of vision
- Poor skin integrity
- Immune mechanism changes
- Confusion and Depression
The women can be even extremely ill by post menopausal psychosis due to sudden depletion of Estrogens and Progesterone levels in the blood .
There is deemed stigma called social stigma where they lose their reproductive functioning, they feel less desirable in society.
Dr. Gagra .N.shinde attempted to conduct a descriptive .Study concluded that the postmenopausal women suffer from moderate psychological problems with low coping strategies. The study had further recommendations and suggestions regarding how family can play an important role in post menopausal management.
While a clinical random study says that women who attempt late menopause after the age of 50 years are in more risk of developing psychological problems related to menopause than the woman who are younger at the age of menopause, The reason behind this is that earlier the age of menopause better the health status and immune status of the body . Ageing has got major influence on the post menopausal women as such because ageing itself is a burden along with menopausal phenomenon.
Older women who are at home and the supporting family play a major role in controlling the psychological trauma pertaining to the menopause because women had already been through such experience in her life time , addition to this women at menopausal age definitely need counseling and guidance on how to improve quality of life under various levels of stress . It is important for the family members to accept the condition and treat it as a normal phenomena and isolation of women complicates the trauma further.
How to manage is the concern here because, women when they pass through transition they need supervision, Education and Counseling . Medical management is carried out through a therapy called HRT (Hormonal replacement therapy) it is a program of treatment in which a woman takes Estrogen and progesterone (a synthetic form of progesterone) to relieve menopause symptoms. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis and other conditions that become more common after menopause. However, HRT can have serious side effects and has been shown to increase a post-menopausal woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It is very important to weigh the benefits and risks when considering HRT.
- At home there are some measures to be taken during this period which includes
- Eating nutritious diet: reduce fat intake as women is already overweight.
- Limit the consumption of caffeine , sugars , beverages, spicy items.
- Calcium consumption as a supplement of 1200 mg average per day.
- Quit smoking permanently if any.
- Wear comfortable, cotton smooth, clothes.
- Regular exercises but remember not to over strain.
- Psychological support and acceptance from family is also important.
Image credits: (1)