For many Western women, the mention of the word menopause is associated with dread and fear – in a culture that relishes youth, it has come to be considered as part of the ageing process. Menopausal women have often been labelled “grumpy” and “old.” Both are unrealistic stereotypes.
As many women grapple to come to terms with the physical pain, hot flushes and anxiety that are part of menopause, they are also forced to cope with cultural and social labels that do not accurately reflect who they are or what they are experiencing.
In reality, menopause is a natural, bodily cycle – it marks the end of mensuration and childbearing years. It is the start of a new chapter in a woman’s life. One which can be enjoyed and celebrated.
Did you know the women in Greek and Mayan cultures look forward to menopause? They wait with anticipation for this time to come as it relieves them of the responsibilities of giving birth.
The women of these cultures believe menopause is a new phase of life, where they can re-focus on themselves; so much so that they report on having a much more fulfilling and satisfied sex-life post-menopause.
Can we change cultural attitudes about women and menopause? Yes, and here’s how:
Talk About Menopause
Talk about it. Menopause is a part of life for every woman. By valuing each other’s voice and learning from a shared experience, women can educate and empower each other.
Menopause: A New Beginning
Shift the narrative and adopt the view that Menopause is a new phase in life. Challenge the stereotypes and the outdated notions.
Reflect and Respect
Menopause brings challenges for many women; with real changes and hormonal fluctuations it can mark a difficult time. But it is also a time to reflect on how these changing hormones have made you the woman you are and pay respect to the miraculous female body as it undergoes changes to enter a new phase of life and living.
Menopause is a new stage of life and for every woman the experience will be unique. For some women the symptoms are increasingly physical, while for others the experience can be extremely emotional – of course, there are the fortunate few who enjoy a symptom-free menopause.
Do your own homework when it comes to menopause as diet, lifestyle and supplements can all make a difference as you transform into this new and exciting phase of your life.
As a medical professional, my advice to all women is to speak to their own health care practioner as they begin their menopause journey.
Be educated, know that menopause varies greatly for every single woman, and that your experience matters. Celebrate your transition years and embrace the new you.
Is there a stigma in society about women undergoing menopause? How do you feel about that? Have you tried to go against the current and embrace your transition and transformation? Are you happy with the new you?
This content was originally published here.