Menopause a cultural
psychological perspective
       Dr. Neeru Sharma,Asso Prof
       Royal Gupta,Research Scholar
     ...
Introduction
• Middle age development marked by change in
  reproductive era
• Loss of periods known as Menopause
• Define...
• Living through menopause is a new phenomenon
• Average life expectancy of the women has increased to
  78 years of age w...
• Changes during this period are complicated by natural
  effects of aging and changes in life situation
• Menopause shoul...
Cultural Aspect
• The social construction of menopause as the entry point to old
  age represents a challenging ,often dif...
Indian Concept
• Prime quality of a woman is her purity( virginity)
• Her identity merged with the identity of the
  famil...
• Menopause marks ending of this dirty flow and
  a return to the pure self
• Behavior at this phase is strongly influence...
• Vasomotor Instability
  . Marked by hot flush an uncomfortable feeling of the
  heat that usually subsides within few mi...
Symptoms associated with
              menopause
• Changes in menstrual pattern
  . Occurs in 90% women during 4 years of ...
• Psychological/cognitive Disturbances
  . including depression, irritability and other mood
  changes, poor concentration...
• Sexual Difficulties
  .Estrogen levels may decline leading to sexual
  difficulties
  . This may cause tension in spousa...
• Somatic Symptoms
  .Estrogen access can cause fluid retention in the body
  making one feel bloated
  . It can cause bre...
• Cardiovascular Changes
  . Pre menopausal women taking estrogen
  replacement therapy have less than one-half the
  risk...
Management of Menopause
• Use of both Hormone replacement therapy and
  psychotherapy, individually or together, as may be...
• Dietary modifications will also be required
• Obesity should be avoided
•  Avoiding beverages and spicy foods also help
...
• A lot of help from the family is required to understand
  and help the women in this phase
• Their irritability , mood s...
• Urban and Rural health agencies too should have some policies
  regarding this
• Till now they are catering more to the ...
Role of volunteers




                               Community
                               social
                    ...
Our role in women’s
    Listening
                    welfare
                                     Feeling
    to them    ...
I think I may have been able to set some thought
process in motion
We can be helpful ad useful to our ecosystems
provided ...
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Menopause

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Menopause

  1. 1. Menopause a cultural psychological perspective Dr. Neeru Sharma,Asso Prof Royal Gupta,Research Scholar Deptt of Home Science University of Jammu Jammu neerusha@gmail.com
  2. 2. Introduction • Middle age development marked by change in reproductive era • Loss of periods known as Menopause • Defined as the cessation of menses • A biological process shaped by social, cultural, economic and political considerations particularly in traditional societies like India • Accompanied by other changes like loss of parents, empty nest syndrome etc, much more evident in the western cultures • For women it is a status shift.
  3. 3. • Living through menopause is a new phenomenon • Average life expectancy of the women has increased to 78 years of age whereas in the 19th century it was 50 years. • It was considered as a transition to old age • Menopausal age in India is about 45 years • It indicates that the ovaries have become refractory to stimulation by the hormone from the anterior of the pituitary gland and a waning of steroid hormone production below the threshold level necessary to endometrial function.
  4. 4. • Changes during this period are complicated by natural effects of aging and changes in life situation • Menopause should not be viewed as a negative experience by the women • Gynecologists reveal an increase in problems related to menopause as women are not aware of the process and stages of menopause or symptoms that are result of hormonal imbalance • They attribute such changes to causes such as weakness, hypertension and ageing • Lack scientific knowledge about it
  5. 5. Cultural Aspect • The social construction of menopause as the entry point to old age represents a challenging ,often difficult, time • Women start perceiving themselves as less attractive and less fully functioning because of the end of reproductive period • This happens more so in the western societies as menopause is associated with loss of youth, fertility, libido, health, hormones, feminity and calcium • Symptoms across cultures are poorly documented • For western women it is an exhaustible topic of medical literature
  6. 6. Indian Concept • Prime quality of a woman is her purity( virginity) • Her identity merged with the identity of the family • Rituals performed during monthly periods due to beliefs of purity and prohibition • The flow of blood associated with dirt • Restrictions imposed on her during these periods which are considered “dirty”
  7. 7. • Menopause marks ending of this dirty flow and a return to the pure self • Behavior at this phase is strongly influenced by norms of asceticism (sanyas), non involvement and freedom from passions • Menopause is eagerly awaited in cultures in which women gain higher social status following menopause such as India
  8. 8. • Vasomotor Instability . Marked by hot flush an uncomfortable feeling of the heat that usually subsides within few minutes . Can be accompanied by tachycardia and palpitations . They may be disturbed by night sweats causing sleep disturbance .Sleep difficulties may result in fatigue, irritability and lack of concentration
  9. 9. Symptoms associated with menopause • Changes in menstrual pattern . Occurs in 90% women during 4 years of transition prior to menopause . Bleeding can be irregular, heavy or prolonged .Often due to excess stimulation of the endometrium( uterine lining) by estrogen and lack of progesterone to balance this .A doctor needs to be consulted to check for the growth of endometrium
  10. 10. • Psychological/cognitive Disturbances . including depression, irritability and other mood changes, poor concentration and forgetfulness . This is the time for many life shifts like change in sexual functioning, change in husband’s attitude, recognition that many of life’s expectations may not be fulfilled, a fear of not being needed ,and that of old age and infirmity The causes are more of psychological than physiological and may require psychological intervention
  11. 11. • Sexual Difficulties .Estrogen levels may decline leading to sexual difficulties . This may cause tension in spousal relationships . Counseling may be required regarding the normal progression of these changes as women attribute such changes to interpersonal reasons
  12. 12. • Somatic Symptoms .Estrogen access can cause fluid retention in the body making one feel bloated . It can cause breast tenderness, insomnia, anxiety, palpitation and dizziness . It has a stimulant effect on brain causing irritability . Osteoporosis may also result from estrogen status
  13. 13. • Cardiovascular Changes . Pre menopausal women taking estrogen replacement therapy have less than one-half the risk of stroke . Screening of risk factors is required and life style change may be recommended
  14. 14. Management of Menopause • Use of both Hormone replacement therapy and psychotherapy, individually or together, as may be required or recommended by specialsts • Psychotherapy may be required where physical symptoms are not relieved by estrogen • It may also be required to help her adapt to physiological changes • HRT is required for all symptoms • Form and dose of estrogen and progesterone may vary according to circumstances
  15. 15. • Dietary modifications will also be required • Obesity should be avoided • Avoiding beverages and spicy foods also help • High protein low carbohydrate diet , soft drinks and snack foods increase dietary phosphate at the expense of calcium • A regular exercise program can prevent and minimize many of these problems
  16. 16. • A lot of help from the family is required to understand and help the women in this phase • Their irritability , mood swings , cognitive functioning are not to be laughed at or argued with • Give her peace of mind and reassure her that she is still wanted and desired • Encourage regular visits to doctor and proper treatment if any complications arise • Women have a tendency to overlook their problems so as a family we have to encourage her to share her fears and discomforts so that she may be relieved of them
  17. 17. • Urban and Rural health agencies too should have some policies regarding this • Till now they are catering more to the needs of the women in the reproductive period i.e. 15-45 years • The aged population will reach 177million in 2025 and 84.96 million of them are expected to be women who are also expected to outlive males • Till now 54% women are 60+, 18.36 million widows, 42% of them illiterate ,40% below poverty line and 80% population of aged residing in the rural areas and India having second largest old population in the world the work cannot be accomplished by the governments alone • The effort for quality life are to be initiated by everyone
  18. 18. Role of volunteers Community social service VOLUNTEER BRONFENBRENNERS ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS THEORY
  19. 19. Our role in women’s Listening welfare Feeling to them responsible Understanding their rights and Thinking health needs Working with them Decision making
  20. 20. I think I may have been able to set some thought process in motion We can be helpful ad useful to our ecosystems provided we know from where to start A lot of women are at stake of developing serious complications due to ignorance of their developmental changes and me and you can help a lot Begin from your own home THANK YOU
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