Gabrielle Vaughn | VenusBlogs Editor at Large
[dc]T[/dc]he word, “menopause” is one that comes with a lot of baggage. It’s almost doomed from the start — as a word, that is. Defined by PubMed Health, menopause is:
The time in a woman’s life when her periods (menstruation) eventually stop and the body goes through changes that no longer allow her to get pregnant. It is a natural event that normally occurs in women age 45 – 55.
Menopause, as a word, haunts us. Before we enter into it’s phase, we approach it with dread, thinking it some sort of end to our youth — or worse, a time when the promise of a withered old age is inescapably ours. Such a mind trip — too much! Until of course we begin that phase and whether we experience the side effects in a large or small way, one thing we will all come to admit is that, a day in the life of a menopausal woman is, well, just another day.
According to the article, “Menopause, Identity and Emotions,” Dr. Eric Berlin writes:
Menopause is synonymous with change. Of course, the most noticeable physical change is the end of your menstrual periods. But well before they fully stop, you may experience a wide variety of symptoms. The best known are hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. These symptoms are due in part to changing hormone levels in your body, a normal part of this natural process, and they affect women very differently — from debilitating to bothersome to tolerable, or, for some women, barely noticeable.
But hormonal changes are not the whole story. Equally important is the emotional impact that menopause may have on you. While many women appreciate no longer having menstrual periods and worrying about birth control, others may find themselves questioning their identity and their womanliness.
One thing we have to understand is that half the problem with menopause is in the hype that comes along with it, or rather, the ‘anti-hype’. We can’t buy into all the negativity, because in truth, it’s not all that bad. Menopause isn’t some nightmare scenario where our lives suddenly take us from fairy princess to haggard witch. It’s just not like that. Menopause, like aging, like LIFE — is a process that plays itself out over a period of time. You don’t just wake up one day with a wart on your nose and a bad attitude, creaking and complaining of how the glory days are well behind you. This is not what menopause is about.
While you may experience the typical symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats or mood swings, you’ll find that you’re still just ‘you’. That early morning cup of coffee is still going to taste delicious, that cute celebrity in the movie is still going to look hot to you, and that awesome pair of shoes is still going to tempt you to dip into your savings.
Yes, we change — it’s called progress. We’re not going backwards with life. And that’s a good thing because we do get smarter, we do accumulate a degree of wisdom along the way. And so, by the time we hit menopause, what counts most is that we know — it’s just another day.
Have a great day.
For more info, contact us at The Manhattan Center for Gynecology.