On the occasion of World Menopause Day, Mummas Community and Menoveda teamed up to host an unorthodox Facebook Live session to challenge the taboo surrounding menopause in India. Menopause is one of the biggest life-altering phases in a woman’s life. It brings along a significant stage in a woman’s life. But it often remains shrouded in silence and misunderstanding. However, this insightful discussion led by Tamanna Singh, a Menopause Coach and Founder of Menoveda, offers a platform to address this crucial aspect of women’s health. Being one of the fewest menopause coaches in India, Ms. Tamanna Singh is highly knowledgeable in this field. She is very vocal about the topic. As she has been working with menopausal women for a long time, she is the best fit to solve all your menopause queries. If you have missed the discussion, you will find all the highlights of this enlightening session in this article. So stay tuned!
The Right Age for Menopause
One of the most common yet unanswered questions addressed was, “What is the right age for menopause?” According to Ms. Tamanna Singh, the average age for menopause in India is approximately 46.2 years. However, perimenopause, or the transitional phase leading to menopause, can start in the late thirties. During this time, women begin to experience various menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, dwindling libido, loss of muscle mass, low energy, and increased visceral fat. And all these are accompanied by confusion and a lack of information. To bridge this gap, Menoveda introduced the concept of menopause coaches. The coaches help women with the necessary support and guidance.
The Duration of Menopause
A surprising revelation from a survey conducted by Menoveda was that 67% of women were unaware of the three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. This lack of knowledge often leads to misconceptions about the duration of menopause. Though the usual age of menopause is 45 to 50, early or late menopause is also common.
Tamanna is of the view that during the 30s or 40s when women notice their menstrual cycles are changing, consulting a healthcare professional during this time is crucial. Women should discuss options for managing menopause, without prematurely resorting to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or soya-based supplements.
Understanding Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is an option to manage menopause symptoms, but it is not void of potential side effects. Talking to several doctors or therapy specialists is the only solution to decide how suitable this treatment is for you. Women over 30 and those with conditions like PCOD and PCOS should be more thoughtful of HRT.
The second question comes in the form of ‘Does menopause cause hormonal changes?’
Menopause is linked to hormonal changes. The hormones that take part in this shift are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Constant fluctuations of these hormones lead to a range of symptoms such as mood swings, difficulty in weight loss, dry, flaky skin, wrinkles, and even hair loss. Tamanna also says that it’s best to not jump into HRT treatments. Only 12% of women are prescribed HRT, despite it being widely available in the West. In India, doctors prefer alternative options, such as soya-based supplements. However, soya is known to adversely affect thyroid health. And as almost 60% of women of menopausal age deal with thyroid complications, soya-based options can profusely bloat them.
The Connection Between Menopause and Heart Disease
A member of the discussion came up with a very important question that is ‘Does menopause increase the risk of heart diseases?’ As Tamanna is very closely associated with menopause research in India, she let us know that several studies have shown that women are less prone to lifestyle-related diseases than men before the age of 40. However, the risk of heart disease in women increases significantly after 40 or during menopausal transitions. Factors like anxiety, depression, and lack of time for self-care contribute to this trend. Therefore, women must prioritize their health and well-being, regardless of their age or familial responsibilities.
Pregnancy at the Edge of Menopause
Another common myth of women that came in the form of a question is ‘Is pregnancy possible at the edge of menopause?’ However, this is far from the truth. As women experience menopausal symptoms and ditch protection during intimacy or skip birth control pills, there is still the possibility of getting pregnant.
Early Onset Menopause – ‘Can women get menopause in their late 30s?’
There’s a growing trend of women experiencing menopause or menopause-like symptoms in their mid to late 30s. Factors like early puberty and lifestyle choices play a huge role in it. It reinforces the need for research-backed menopausal education and healthcare support.
Managing Hair Loss During Menopause
Someone in the session asked ‘I have heard menopause causes hair fall. How can we reduce it?’ and Tamanna was very unequivocal with the answer. She said that hair loss is a common concern during menopause and it happens. But there are supplements, vitamins, and Ayurvedic therapies. Menoveda also offers ayurvedic products to help combat hair loss and several issues associated with it.
How to control heightened emotions?
Menopausal emotions are no joke. Many confuse these emotions with regular mood swings. But only a menopausal woman knows how it feels when that sudden urge to throw a massive temper tantrum arises. The transitional period brings about heightened emotions and mood swings. To manage these changes, Ms. Tamanna suggests practising self-realization, engaging in open communication with loved ones, and considering mindfulness techniques like meditation. As women get to know themselves better, they can handle themselves and the people around them better.
Preparing for Menopause as a Young Mother
As someone from the Mummas community asked, ‘As a young mom, how can we prepare ourselves for the repercussions of menopause? How to minimize that?’ Tamanna was quick to remind the audience that for young mothers who are experiencing menopausal transitions, self-care has no alternative. Prioritizing one’s health and well-being should not induce guilt. Consulting with a gynaecologist and exploring long-term health options is crucial. When menopause symptoms like forgetfulness occur, a doctor’s consultation is critical. Otherwise, it can lead to dementia. Let your brain exercise. Learn, think, and go outside.
Supporting Elders During Menopause
As the Mummas community is made up of women with families, it’s a concern for many how they can also help elders in their family during their phase of menopause. Tamanna says that elders in the family also need support and understanding during menopause. Listening to their experiences and concerns is vital to help them feel valued and heard.
Changes in the Body After Menopause
‘What changes will I experience in my body after menopause? How to prepare myself?’ It’s no wonder that this question came. There is still a lack of information regarding the changes women experience during menopause. But it indeed brings a range of physical and emotional changes, such as hairline receding, sudden pigmentation that is not going away, mental health declining, sleeplessness, anxiety, a sudden increase in migraine, personality change, metallic taste in the mouth, music is stuck in the ear, headaches and more. More than 40 symptoms are associated with menopause. Proper nutrition, regular exercise like weight training., positivity, and holistic approaches are the solutions to navigate this transition with grace. Tamanna encourages women to speak to their moms about their experiences. It gives space for open discussion and bonds with women.
The Facebook Live session by Mummas Community and Menoveda serves as an eye-opening conversation on a topic often overlooked in India. It’s a reminder of the importance of discussing menopause openly and seeking support and information. Menoveda’s holistic approach to menopause-related concerns through Ayurvedic products like Asaya, Amaya, and hair growth serum is a promising step towards better menopausal health in India. As women, it’s crucial to take your well-being seriously, communicate your experiences, and take control of your health during this significant life transition.
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