Menopause is a natural stage of ageing

All women go through the transition stage from fertile to infertile when they reach a certain age. This transition is referred to as menopause. The women from different cultural backgrounds look at menopause differently. Their outlook varies based on their society’s cultural settings. In most patriarchal societies, women undergo menopause silently without seeking healthcare and support. This happens because the priority for these women is their family and children rather than their own health. Information, knowledge and support can help to make menopause less painful for women around the world. The outlook towards menopause as the end of life also needs to change.

What Happens During Menopause?

Menopause is a significant stage in a woman’s life that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. During the reproductive years of a woman’s life, the ovaries generate oestrogen and progesterone resulting in menstrual cycles. The production of these hormones alters during menopause. A woman is said to have reached her menopause when she has not had her periods for 12 consecutive months. Since there are many changes occurring in a woman’s body during menopause, she may experience different menopausal symptoms during this time.

What are the symptoms of Menopause? 

When women undergo menopause, they suffer a wide range of symptoms. While all symptoms may not be present in all the women undergoing menopause, at least some of the listed symptoms will be present. Here is the list:

  • Some women experience urinary urgency during menopause. 
  • Emotional changes and mood swings are common in menopause.
  • Vaginal dryness is also experienced by most women during menopause. This is the result of reduced hormone levels after the onset of menopause.
  • Women may experience heavier or lighter periods unlike what they usually get.
  • They may also experience irregular periods.
  • Some women complain of increased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  • In rare cases, women also complain about insomnia or difficulty sleeping. 
  • Breast tenderness is also one of the symptoms.
  • Some women also complain of increased dryness of skin, lips and eyes.
  • In rare cases, women also experience memory lapses and lack of focus.
  • Changes in libido and lowered sex drive are some other side effects of menopause.
  • Changes in bodyweight are also observed in some women undergoing menopause.

What is the Outlook Towards Menopause?

The outlook towards menopause may vary in different cultures. Menopause is just yet another stage that happens in a woman’s life. It must be accepted that way and appropriate care must be taken. In many cultures, women undergo this stage by keeping themselves busy with family and religion. They stay occupied with other priorities in life. 

Women who are empowered to know their physical needs and urges may look at menopause differently. They may understand the changes that happen in the body during this transition. They may look forward to a great love life during menopause. These are women who may have completely different outlook towards meet during menopause. They may wish to lead an enriched love life even in this phase of life. It is completely possible once your correct your outlook towards intercourse as well as menopause.

What is the perspective about sex during menopause?

In many patriarchal cultures, intercourse is completely forgotten during menopause. This is because of the limited perspective about both sex and menopause. During menopause, the woman’s body undergoes several changes. The hormone levels fluctuate. Vaginal lubrication is affected, causing vaginal dryness. This causes penetrative intercourse to be painful. However, this does not have to mean an end to love life. Here are some things to do to maintain the vigour during menopause:

  • Maintain an open communication with your partner. Disclose how you feel about sexual intimacy. Inform your partner if you experience pain.
  • Enjoying intimacy when in the mood can help to reduce the possibility of pain during lovemaking.
  • You must develop a broader perspective about sex and not look at it as just penetrative sex. 
  • Lubrication using oils and lubricants can help to eliminate pain during intercourse.
  • Try to enjoy intimacy beyond intercourse. Cuddling, caressing and oral intercourse can all help to fill the gap caused by lowered libido.

How to Make the Transition During Menopause Easy for Women?

Menopause brings bout multiple changes in a woman’s life. However, if a woman is prepared for these changes, the challenges posed by these changes are reduced. Here are some steps to take to make menopause easy for any woman:

Educate her about the changes in health:

As the hormone levels change during menopause, the woman’s body becomes vulnerable to several health problems. Women become vulnerable to osteoarthritis and heart disease. Tell her how she can stay healthy to prevent such health issues.

Help her have a broader perspective about best mood during menopause: 

The lowered libido may impact the love life of women greatly unless they look at sex in a different light. Women should be made to understand that sex is not just physical. They need to understand the importance of different ways to get intimate such as oral sex, cuddling or simply spending intimate time with your partner.

Encourage her to stay active:

The mood swings and increased anxiety affect more if the women are idle. Encourage women to stay occupied in different activities that they enjoy. This will help to reduce emotional troubles associated with menopause.

Women should learn to look at menopause as just another stage in life. This will help them stay healthy and happy.

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