Men-o-pause: The myth and the reality
The word can literally be translated into a time where you finally get the hook off men. Basically, it’s your body telling you that your reproductive machinery has depreciated to a point where it is highly unlikely that it would be of any use. You reach a point where you must make way; and thus the story of intermittent pain and anxiety that started back in the innocent times comes to an end. A study on Chandigarh reveals that most women associate menopause with freedom. Another cross-sectional qualitative examination declared that 57% of the women found menopause convenient.
But, as we all know, a flame is brightest when it is about to extinguish. Like the unpleasantness wasn’t enough, there are attitudes and perceptions that make the process all the more arduous. Here are the top few myths that govern the subject:
Menopause will only happen post 45
Menopause is a health implication and is delayed if you have had a healthy lifestyle and nutritious food. Unfortunately, these are luxuries accessible by only a select few in the country . A research by TS Syamala and S Sivakami reveals that menopause strikes early in poorer households.
You cannot get pregnant post menopause
That’s a lie. Time and again, we have learnt stories of late parenthood and how it is completely natural. Though the possibility declines, with IVF techniques today, it is for a woman to give birth to a child at later stages in life as well.
Menopause is an event in the life-cycle of the woman
Hell, no, its not! Though the menstrual cycle ceases, its psychosomatic symptoms bleed into a long phase that may last anywhere between 2 to 12 months, as per this study. As a matter if fact, women in some places have reported experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms for as long as 10 years. Most common symptoms that occur during these times include hot flashes, urge incontinence and loss of sexual desire.
Depression and need for family and social support
According to this study, depression doesn’t have anything to do with menopause. However poor family environment affects depression among women and since there is a sudden drop in the hormones secreted by the body, which could cause mood swings and increase the chances of the person to slip into depression.
In my research for this article, I also observed that the more reliable information that is available on menopause and its psychological symptoms is highly biased, as it is mostly written by male researchers. While women continue to feel uncomfortable talking about reproductive processes and are mostly unaware or oblivious to the symptoms, there isn’t much public discourse about it. 69% of women feel that their abilities and competence have diminished post menopause, which could also lead to persistent low self-esteem and depression.
Women need to come forward and discuss these subjects without feeling much inhibition, so that following generations can have reliable data to prepare better for this change.