Fun & Games

Menopause of women: respite with family cooperation

DHAKA, Dec 28, 2016 (BSS/UNICEF feature) - "I had been passing my days in a kind of restlessness at this age of mine all of a sudden. It was unable for me to sleep at night properly. I felt tremendous headache along with a feeling of abnormal heat in my ears, hands and legs. With the passing days, my usual temperament has been going from bad to worse. After passing a few more days at the present situation, I consulted a gynecologist at the advice of my family and came to know that I have been passing through my menopause period," said Rahima Begum (49) of Mirpur.

Referring to the remarks of the gynecologist she said, "In reality, menopause is not a disease. In the real sense of the term, it's a common or natural bodily change relating to age in every woman's life. A new chapter unfolds at one stage in the life of every woman. The womenfolk of our country usually face unreasonable mental pressure and many awkward situations due to lack of knowledge in this regard. Unfortunately, most of the women don't get the expected cooperation from the family members, which she deserves at this period of life."

While talking on the subject Dr Halima Khatun Tuhin, medical officer of Delta Medical College and Hospital said, "Generally, the monthly period of women stops at the age of 45 to 50. The symptoms of menopause of women appear a few years before the stop of their monthly period (menstruation), which is termed as common menopause. However, bodily change in women can take place even sometime prior to the stipulated period or within 45 years of age, which is termed as premature menopause. Discharge of hormone from the body stops totally at this time. This is menopause in the term of medical science."

She said, "The process of a halt to discharge of hormone from the ovary or stopping of the menstruation (monthly period) can't be termed as a disease at all but there is some temporary effect of it. The changes every woman feels at this stage of her life are: (feeling) extensive heat (body temperature) all of a sudden, sweating at night and feeling weakness as well, coming out of heat through ears, headache, palpitation, forgetting everything, lack of attention in work, urinating repeatedly, unwillingness in intercourse (mating), vaginal dryness, feeling pain during intercourse etc."

About the negative impact of menopause, some physicians were of the opinion that separation between many couples takes place at the middle age of women due to misunderstanding with their husbands for menopause problem.

Selina Hossain (45), who turned up at the Gynecology and Maternity Department of Suhrawardy Hospital for treatment, said that she was unable to fulfill the sexual demand of her husband due to menopause problem. At that time, she went on to add that one of her neighbour proposed her to seek the advice of a gynecologist when her hubby took decision for his second marriage.

Selina said that the gynecologist apprised her hubby of the entire problem saying that she has been going through menopause period now and what is needed at this hour from the part of a hubby is to extend all sorts of cooperation to his wife.

Doctors held the view that the most effective solution to this problem was marked as family's cooperation, particularly the cooperation of the husbands although there is a remedy of it which is called the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in the medical terms by which hormone is pushed into the dried up organ (portion) of the body.

Though there was no counseling system for those menopause-hit women in our country, the light of hope has ushered in as health examination in advance and counseling for those affected women has recently been introduced at the Gynecology and Maternity Departments of different hospitals across the country, which would play a significant role in creating awareness among the womenfolk about menopause, said Dr Halima Khatun Tuhin.

She laid emphasis on extensive coverage in the print and electronic media for creating mass awareness on the subject should be carried out that would also be beneficial for the society as a whole.

Besides, menopause-hit patients could avail treatment facilities at the Family Planning Department of different community clinics throughout the country at cheaper prices. Some doctors were of the opinion that most of the women who are in the menopause stage think that their life is at the verge of end, which is a wrong notion, and they could easily overcome the problem with regular treatment and counseling.

Many women usually pass through tremendous mental pressure at the period of menopause which could lead to mental depression of any sort at this stage of their life. In this context, Prof Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed, assistant professor of the National Mental Health Institute, said, "As menopause is a natural continuous operational process in the life of women, they should think positively always of their life....at this stage of natural change in their life, they should have to take enough vegetables, go through regular exercise and health examinations remaining always delightful and if required, should take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to overcome the problem."

Above all, some specialist doctors held the view that self-consciousness should be grown with cooperation of the families towards the women are the prerequisites and essential for inevitable natural change in their life.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)