Dr Ujwala Parashar, our Gynaecologist with over 10 years’ experience looking after women’s health, has a special message for women this Menopause Awareness Month.
Her main concern is that so many women tend not to prioritise their health. Oftentimes, when we start a family, we put our family’s needs first. Sometimes it can be pressure from work or ambition in a career. When we’re younger, we may have fewer health concerns, so we get used to putting health a little lower down on the priorities list, but menopause is a very important time to turn that around and make your health a priority, says Dr Ujwala.
“Menopause can completely change your lifestyle. It affects your mood and your family life,” Dr Ujwala points out. She adds that it’s not just important to recognise the symptoms of menopause, but you need to rule out any other medical issues that could cause similar symptoms.
Symptoms vary from person to person, but they can include anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, dry skin, thinning hair, irregular menstruation, reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness or even pain during intercourse.
Dr Ujwala believes that it’s important to discuss all of your menopause symptoms with your General Practitioner (GP) who can provide advice and referrals as needed. It’s important to discuss emotional symptoms as well as physical symptoms, because they can all be related, and your GP can help you manage them. It’s also important to rule out any other potential medical issues.
A lot of Dr Ujwala’s patients have confided that they aren’t comfortable speaking to their family about menopause. It’s important to remember that menopause is a natural part of life, and there is no need to hide it from your partner or others you are close to, especially if you want some emotional support.
Oftentimes, mood-related and mental health concerns caused by menopause can be treated with hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). HRT may not be recommended for women with certain types of breast cancer, but if you need support in these cases, Dr Ujwala reminds us that there are other options you can discuss with your doctor.
Overall, Dr Ujwala encourages every woman to remember; we all go through menopause. Learn to recognise the symptoms and make your own health a priority. It isn’t selfish, it’s self-care and it’s important for preventing problems that could occur further down the road.
For more information, you can speak to one of our specialists or download this menopause resource.