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The positive and the not-so-pleasant side of Menopause

Benefits of Menopause

The Fabulous Five got together once more, this time at Sucheta's house to celebrate the arrival of the monsoon. Sipping hot cups of ginger tea and eating homemade delicacies made by Sucheta, the Fabulous Five viz Alisha, Sucheta, Vaani, Ramya, and Namita

Namita – hey, know something? I think I have hit menopause

Ramya – that’s ok. It's nothing to be afraid of. All women go through this.

Sucheta – how do you know you have hit menopause?

Namita –I haven’t got my periods for nearly a year now. I have been having hot flashes. That itching that I was having down there, I consulted my gynaecologist and she told me that it was due to menopause.

Vaani – well, not having periods for nearly a year is freedom from cramps, sanitary pads, achy backs, and what not!

Ramya – yes, menopause does have a positive side. Our ovaries stop producing eggs which means that getting pregnant is eliminated. The risk of unexpected bleeding or spotting too is gone. Its freedom from headaches, migraines, bloating, fluctuating hormones, fibroids, and abdominal and pelvic pain. It's a great time to focus on the inner you and lead a calm, fuller, and empowered life.

Sucheta – that's super! But what is the other side of the menopause coin?

Ramya – good question Sucheta. With the good always comes the not-so-good side. Menopause affects our bodily systems in different ways.

  • Reproductive system – we will experience vaginal dryness which means painful sex and a dip in our libidos
  • Endocrine system – estrogen and progesterone responsible for reproduction are in this system. Lowered estrogen leads to hot flashes and night sweats. Your body won’t burn fat and calories easily as menopause reserves more energy in your body. This means weight gain and your midline will no longer be flat
  • Nervous system – menopause will cause mood swings. One moment you are happy, next you could be super irritable. It can also be a trigger for depression. So, you need to take cognizance of this
  • Excretory system – urine incontinence a.k.a as bladder leakage is another effect of menopause. You may leak if you laugh too hard, sneeze or workout
  • Cardiovascular system – estrogen protects our cardiovascular system. Lack of estrogen may increase cardiovascular disease risk and affect cholesterol levels. Your risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke just goes up.
  • Skeletal and muscular system – Due to menopause, you lose bone density and face an increased risk of bone fractures. Plus, osteoporosis looms large. You may rapidly lose muscle mass and face achy, stiff joints

Alisha – hey, this is too scary. I think I have more respect now for the fact that I am still menstruating.

Ramya [laughing] – girls, don't get so scared or upset. It’s something we all must go through at some point in our lives, but our gynaecologists will guide us on how to face these challenges when they occur. Plus, don’t forget the positive side.

Namita – yes. I think this has helped me a lot. Rather it’s an eye-opener for all of us. Here’s to being more empowered as we all age gracefully, minus estrogen

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