Women In Your Life : Menopause


The life expectancy rate is slowly increasing all over the world. Nepal’s Life expectancy has increased as well.  The average life span for men is 64 years and for females it is 67 years. With the increase in life span, old age related problems are increasing as well.

One of the most common problems that women face very often in old age is Menopause. Many women are not aware of this condition. They sit in their home; they get depressed by minor trivial issues like household chores and relationships. They blame the old age and they silently wait for a miracle to cure their ailing age problem.

Menopause is condition that women experience usually during the age of 46-51 years. Menopause appears early in females who smoke and who have done a prior gynecological surgery.  Men also experience something similar called Andropause. Menopause is the period in a women’s reproductive life when she does not have regular periods or menses for more than 12 months.

When women reach the end of their reproductive period there is decrease in the function of Ovaries. Gradually when one nears menopause, there is a decrease in the release of ovum and henceforth, one of the most important hormones called Oestrogen which is realized from the ovaries also decreases. Oestrogen plays a very vital role in a women’s body.

Due to the estrogen deficiency, women usually experience different manifestations. The typical presentation like having hot flushes, mood swings, irritability, sudden tears, trouble sleeping, dry vagina, weight gain, crashing fatigue, loss of libido, anxiety. Oestrogen receptors are present in different parts of the body. They are present in the skin, eyes, brain, urinary and genitalia area. When estrogen receptors are not activated, functional alternations takes place in these areas. The skin loses its tough, taut nature and wrinkles appear. Likewise, in the Brain, memory loss, migraine headache and mood swings occur.

Managing Menopause requires knowledge about the disease. Most women in Nepal are unaware about the condition but the few people that know about this condition are managing it with ease. Exercise is a must, at least 45 minutes every day.  Practices like Yoga, meditation, walking is highly recommended.   Women who smoke should quit.

One cares less for diet when they reach old age. It’s likely that these women lose interest in eating due to different factors like having decease sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch.  Ensuring that women get calcium rich diet enriched with Vitamin D is a must and people should carefully monitor their intake.  Women are very venerable to bone break also known as osteoporosis. Usually young people are encouraged to stay in the Sun to synthesize Vitamin D but in old age, Vitamin D can’t be synthesized and one has to synthetically obtain from medication.  Hormone replacement therapy is also available for those that do not have any contraindications.

The other day a 60 years old woman described her regular gynecological examination. I was perplexed as she said that it was her first regular check up; she called the experience to be cold and penetrative. She was know to suffer from Vaginitis. Women seldom understand the importance of routine gynecological examinations. Routine checkup seem bothersome and the cost is also not feasible.  Women should make regular visits to screen diseases like breast, endometrial and cervical cancer.  How can I force women? When they like to save that money for regular check up for a child’s fee who is abroad. It’s sad.

People need to treat their grandmothers, mothers and aunts with respect. Old age will haunt you eventually, care for them, and ensure that they get all the essential nutrients. Motivate them to exercise. Talk and counsel them for an issue that they get bothered by. Educate and care for the women that are in your life, you have no idea how valuable they are!

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