Today we celebrate being a woman!!
As a woman we go through puberty, then the childbearing years and then menopause.
It’s now time to respect Menopause, it’s time to say loud and proud ‘I am Menopausal’
As a young woman we celebrate when the first period arrives, we celebrate when we discover we are going to have a child, so why do we not celebrate the arrival of menopause?
This stage of a woman’s life is a natural and important stage, it happens to all women.
After having had a family and giving so much of oneself, it is more important that menopause becomes accepted and embraced.
International Women’s Day makes you reflect on how far women have arrived in the present year of 2020.
It seems unimaginable and hard to understand how women were treated and as to how they coped with menopause 100 years ago? The term menopause was intorudced by a french physician in 1821.
It truly is such sad reading of how women were treated at menopause, they were diagnosed with hysteria and madness, to then live their later years for many in a mental asylum. Lonely and ashamed of what they were experiencing. The Victorian era viewed menopause as insane with dark ways, women were in no way to talk or speak up of their symptoms or feelings.
Menopause in the past was actually in fact much earlier in age than the present day average age of 51 in western countries.
Women during those times must of felt completely hopeless, powerless and terrified. It is unthinkable and hard to imagine how hard that must of been for a menopausal woman, who would of had no idea of what was happening to her physical, mental and emotional health.
Unfortunately the older generation of today that is post menopause still have the mindset of a generation who do not speak up at all or mention menopause. These elderly women are unaware and possibly suffering due to lack of awareness and understanding of how to receive care and support that they so rightly deserve.
In the 1930’s menopause was described as a deficiency. Various treatments including extracts from animals and various types of dark aged treatments were used.
A surgeon from Edinburgh, John Lizars was the first surgeon to perform the removal of ovaries in 1824, out of the 200 operations he performed only 89 survived. Thankfully anaesthesia was invented and this helped to improve the success rate of this operation.
The Victorians decided to remove women’s ovaries to treat symptoms such as nymphomania and hysteria. This was hoped that it would make a woman to be more calm and in a better state of mind.
Thankfully two instrumental women chose to make it their mission to help and treat women with menopause.
Marie Stopes, Palaeontologist, Campaigner for Eugenics and Women’s Rights, Founder of the first Birth Control Clinic in Britain. She wrote a book about menopause which was published 1936, her findings were that women were being ill informed about the procedures and how to treat menopause .
Dame Josephine Barnes, the first and leading Obstetrician and Gynaecologist of her time and the first female president of the British Medical Association. A pioneering woman who wanted to create a change to the way women were being treated for menopause. Dame Josephine chose to break stereo type and discuss openly the physical symptoms a woman goes through at menopause.
This was perceived as breaking taboo within the establishment at that time.
Thankfully the 1970’s, menopause became acknowledged as a natural stage of a woman’s life and was to be treated medically.
Modern medical technology and research for menopause is now taken seriously and women can receive the correct treatment and care. However the stigma and taboo of still being able to openly talk about menopause without being made to feel ridiculed and ashamed unfortunately still present today, but with more awareness and information this will change for future generations of women.
The arrival of HRT changed many women’s lives and it’s had a fair share of ups and downs. It is now seen as beneficial and instrumental within the NICE guidelines to help women alleviate their menopause symptoms and overall health. You are guided to make an informed choice, it can be a life saver for many women.
HRT helps women to regain a healthy, active lifestyle and also combats the debilitating symptoms of hot flushes, insomnia and anxiety.
Different parts of the world assess menopause differently in the forms of symptoms such as a hot flush is regarded here in the UK and in western countries to be a sign, Poor vision is a signal for Indian women and for Japanese women they have shoulder pain.
It is interesting just how far we have arrived with treating menopause and how society perceives it still. There have been some extraordinary women who fought hard for women to receive care and support at a time when women were not treated fairly.
Take time today to reflect and appreciate just how lucky we are to be able to receive the right care and treatment at this time of our lives.
I would like to share with you my MS Great Britain experience!!
It was an experience that I will never forget!!
I had never taken part in a pageant before and here I was at the age of 48 years about to embark on my first traditional pageant that was celebrating it’s 75th anniversary!!!
I absolutely enjoyed every minute! The build up, finding my evening gown, yes – there was a swimwear round! A dance routine and interview.
Not only did I meet a group of fascinating and awesome young women they were so friendly and encouraging. I did not feel my age at all whilst going through the whole experience. The adrenalin and nerves were something that I have not had for a while, but wow have I missed it!
It felt great to be a part of a group fo women all supportng and encouraging one another. I still can’t quite believe that I did it, but it is one of the proudest moments of my life and one that I would not hesitate to do all over again. It looks like I am hooked!
Reference – Wikipedia/ Louise Foxcroft/A.Singh