The author discusses the experiences and perceptions surrounding menopause from a personal perspective. It explores the physical and emotional challenges faced by women during this stage of life while also highlighting the potential positives and freedoms it brings.
That word. M..e..n…o..p..a…u…s…e…for years it was something that happened to the Didis and Aunties in the family and neighbourhood and now, oh God! Hot flushes, weak bones, dryness in a certain- unmentionable place, mood swings, troubles galore!! I can’t believe it’s me at the crossroads now..so many ‘blessings’ l had taken for granted, all about to disappear into oblivion! Not to speak of the heightened risk of fractures, strokes, and heart attacks during menopause and of course the twinge of sadness, at having lost my fecundity forever .
Menopause…note, how we term it! Sad, right?! How we, the ‘ fairer ‘ gender, are defined in terms of men…wo’man’…..wo’men’…so much so that the turning point in the journey of our reproductive life had to be termed men-o-pause !!
I have been hearing, albeit in hushed voices and whispers, horror stories about menopause, forever, about how you are as un-hormonal as you are ‘hormonal’ when you are pregnant, etc, etc….and you are cursed for both! Leaves me wondering which is better..being ‘hormonal’ or ‘ un-hormonal’! We, humans, are never happy, are we?!
How about looking at the bright side of this ‘pause-on-men’, for once?
The freedom from the inevitable mess and pain that is menstruation, from the fear of unwanted pregnancy, from having to worry about missing out on workdays or factoring in your ‘cycle’ when planning a trip or vacation…seems to me like an awful lot of things worth celebrating! Though if one is the soft, emotional type, there’s bound to be some soreness about the loss of one’s fertility(like it was for me!), for life.. the end of an era, in a manner of speaking.
My only contention is, couldn’t the Almighty or whoever it is, have made it an out-and-out pleasurable time of life for us wo’men’? Did dryness, discomfort, and flushes have to be a part of it? Pain in fecundity and pain otherwise too? Must the celebration of wo’man’hood always be through the blinding fog of pain? It is unfair, is it not?
What is the parallel term for menopause in men? Women-o-pause? Sorry to break your hearts, girls! It is an anti-climax! They call it ‘climacteric’ as if the climate has anything to do with it all! Don’t you agree that it makes more sense to call the end(if at all!) of male fertility, menopause or more appropriately, men-o-end or something like that?! Instead, our fathers and forefathers, or maybe our mothers and foremothers( if there is such a term) deemed it proper to dump the ‘men’ on our heads for eternity!
The good news is, call it what you will, men-o-pause or not, we,the bearers of two X chromosomes, are determined to make the most of this inning of our lives! So, hurray to us and our indomitable spirits!!
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Puja is a child specialist by profession and a humanist by passion, her soul is stirred by humane acts of selflessness and love. Her other interests are reading,writing ( prose and poetry ), singing, listening to music. She is a tigress mom and a fiercely loyal friend to have! And last but not the least she is a softie with a sharp tongue and a hopeless romantic who believes in all ' happily-ever-afters'!!