International Day of Action for Women s Health on May 28


The International Day of Action for Women's Health is observed every year on May 28 to raise awareness about the health issues faced by women globally. It is a day that highlights the importance of women's health and their right to access quality healthcare services without discrimination. This day not only aims to bring attention to the health issues faced by women but also advocates for the empowerment and autonomy of women in making decisions about their health. To observe the special day, in this article, we will discuss about the stereotypes and misconceptions related to menopause and ageing.  

When we spoke to Dr Astha Dayal, Lead Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, regarding the same, she said, "As a gynaecologist, I often realise that telling a woman that she's reached menopause is almost like breaking bad news! The myths/stereotypes that menopause signifies the end of a woman's femininity or womanhood, and ageing means decline, and incompetence often leads to unnecessary fear and misunderstanding. This notion not only undermines women's value but also disregards the rich experiences and wisdom they have gained over the years."

What is Menopause? 

Menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally. Periods, usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years between 45 and 55 years of age, before they stop altogether. 

Stereotypes and Misconceptions Related to Menopause and Ageing

A common misconception is that menopause is solely a physical process. While women experience physical symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue, vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, and osteoporosis, its impact extends beyond the body.

Menopause can also bring about emotional and psychological shifts, including mood swings, low sexual desire, forgetfulness, trouble sleeping and feelings of loss or uncertainty. By acknowledging the holistic nature of menopause, we can provide better support and understanding to those going through it.

Also, unlike the usual belief menopause is not a uniform experience for all women. But the good news is that eating a healthy, balanced diet exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit and strong help in easing the process in most women.

Lifestyle modifications like avoiding smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, regular health check-ups, weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises, and dietary calcium and Vitamin D supplementation help improve bone health. 

However, some women may need treatments like Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen, cholesterol-lowering medication for preventing heart problems, or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a type of talking therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety. 

Many people believe that menopause leads to a decline in sexual desire and pleasure. While hormonal changes may affect libido and vaginal lubrication, intimacy can still be fulfilling and enjoyable. Vaginal oestrogen creams, lubricants or moisturisers can be used for vaginal dryness or physical discomfort.

Menopause should be celebrated as a transition rather than a decline. We need to empower women with accurate information celebrate the resilience and wisdom that come with these life stages and embrace them as opportunities for growth, renewal, and continued vitality.

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