Mariam Begum has been suffering from palpitation and headache for last two months. She often wakes up at midnight. Then she sees her entire body got soaked due to sweating. She feels sudden hot and sometimes her hands, legs and ears become heated.
When the 41-year-old Mariam brought the problem to her husband’s notice, he said it happened due to her anxiety.
One day she went to a hospital where she came to know after consulting with a physician that she is going through menopause.
The doctor assured her that these are not symptoms of any disease, rather these are some symptoms of menopause which will decrease and will be tolerable gradually.
“But you’ll have to remain careful and follow some rules for it. You’ll be well if you undergo regular checkup,” the physician told Mariam, who is following this advice now.
Mariam said if some rules are followed, the outcome will be visible. Then the problems will not be seemed as problems. “I’m having checkups regularly and following some rules. Now I’m doing well,” she said.
According to Bangladesh Menopause Society, there are thirty lakh women who are experiencing menopause, and 80,000 women are added to the number every year.
Eminent gynecologist of Central Hospital Dr Maliha Rashid said menopause happens in the life of the women naturally and it is determined.
“Usually the regular menstruation of women is stopped between the age of 40 and 50. In many cases, it happens before or after the age,” she said.
Dr Maliha said “Discharging hormones (oestrogen and progesterone and some two or one hormones) from the body is fully halted during the time and it is called in the medical term as ‘menopause’.”
She further said stopping discharging hormone from ovary or menopause is not any disease but it has some temporary impacts.
In this connection, physicians say that awareness is necessary so that temporary impacts do not last long.
The symptoms of menopause, Dr Maliha said, include sudden hot feeling, night sweating and feeling weak after it, irritable mood, anxiety, lack of attention to the work, frequent urinating, reluctance to intercourse, vaginal dryness and feeling pain during sex.
Citing her experience, Dr Maliha said in many cases, separation of women with their husbands takes place at the mid age due to menopause.
She said mental stress increases if any woman experiences menopause. During the time, counselling is necessary, but its practice is very less in our country. And many women do not want to disclose their problems.
To get rid of this problem, there is a method in the medical science and its name is hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Dr Maliha said through this therapy, the arrangements for providing the hormones that get dried from the body are made from outside. The women in developed countries keep intact their own beauty and youth through the hormone therapy, she pointed out.
She said HRT is needed not only to retain the beauty and youth, it is also necessary for staying healthy. To this end, Bangladesh Menopause Society is working for a long time to help all sorts of women, she said.
President of the society Professor Dr Sheikh Jinnat Ara Nasrin stressed the need for spearheading necessary campaigns in this regard. Making people aware of the issue is needed through radio, television and newspapers, she said.
“If the women become aware of it, they can realize that what they should do. Those who are not member of the society also could get counselling facilities,” he said.
Not only the Menopause Society, many hospitals more or less work on the issue. The Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital has launched a health checkup system named Menopause Outdoor Clinic. The treatment for menopause is available here comparatively at a low cost.
Dr Farid Ahmed, a doctor of the clinic, said when menopause happens, women start thinking that their life has finished. But this perception is not correct at all.
“The problem will be over, if they take steps after conducting regular checkup. But the support of the husband and family is very much needed,” he said.
Eminent psychiatrist Dr Mohit Kamal thinks before taking cooperation of all, a woman will have to extend support to herself.
“For this, women need mental preparation and they will have to make positive thinking about life,” he said, adding at this age, women start losing their near and dear ones from their life.
“A woman becomes alone as her children grow up and physical change makes her more helpless,” Dr Kamal added.
Doctors concerned said taking soybean and vegetables, doing physical exercise and taking hormone therapy could help solve the menopause problem of the women. But awareness is needed first for it.