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Beat the blue with Ease
 Author : Dr. Neena Singh, Director, Gynaecology Robotics, International Centre for Robotic Surgery
Hot flushes, irregular symptoms and mood swings… you must have heard your elderly colleague talking about all these symptoms which she faces off late. But doctors say that now a days these symptoms are not restricted to a certain age. Women are facing it in their 30’s. Perimenopause is actually the menopause transition. That is, menopause refers to the time when a woman has been menstruation free for a solid year and has forgone her reproductive years. So the time of symptoms induced by hormonal fluctuations that can last as long as 10 years, is actually perimenopause and not menopause.

Peri menopause is the cause of worry for an increasing number of urban women. The hormonal changes that lead to the cessation of the menstrual cycle can result in symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, changes in weight, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, depression, pain in the muscles and joints, reduced libido, urogenitals problems and vaginal dryness. This phase can last up eight years as well.

Women spend at least a third of their lives in the peri menopausal stage. The prevalence of symptoms varies widely not only among individual of the same population but also between different ethnic populations. The main hurdle in tackling the condition in India is that women shy away from the talking away from these problems. They fear from the fact that in few years there productivity would be lost as their life surrounds around family and children.

Peri menopause symptoms can affect the women’s self esteem too. During this stage women are more prone to suffer from negative life events and diminished self esteem. Also onset of menopause can knock the doors of depression especially in young women with no children.
Women with such symptoms should avoid things which can make the situation worse. Smoking and heavy alcohol use should be avoided. Regular exercise is linked with fewer peri menopausal symptoms.

Menopause itself does not require any medical treatments. Instead treatment focuses more on relieving the signs and symptoms and preventing or lessening them. This includes hormone therapy, low dose anti –depressants or treating osteoporosis which comes over ageing.
The best way to allay peri menopausal or menopausal fears is to check the hormone level regularly. There are lot of misunderstanding about these conditions even in the metros and educated women. Delayed motherhood is one of the major concern today .