Have you ever seen your mom being erratic and unpredictable? Well, she might be feeling sad at the last sight yet as if of no cause all of a sudden start yelling at you. For well-known reasons, this is a sign for a phenomenon called menopause, also known as climacteric. This stage of biological progression marks the permanent end of menstruation and fertility.
Hormone fluctuation is one of the main components of menopause and the culprit of erratic mood swings in one. In spite of the commonness of such an occurrence, people would still tend to ignore the drastic feelings of women within this stage and gloss it over by saying, “ Oh, It is just menopause, going through it will be no big deal." In this article, we will discuss this phenomenon further as well as its associated characteristics and stereotypes.
According to clinical authority, the approximate age for menopause is around the 40s and 50s. Such a long process can be broken down into 3: perimenopause. menopause, and postmenopause.
During perimenopause, when their estrogen levels starts to decrease, women tend to have irregular menstrual cycles and mood fluctuations, such as irritability and depression.
When one stops having menstrual periods for a consecutive year, that is the indicator for the coming of actual menopause. All of the previous symptoms would intensify during this stage, and we can often hear people without sufficient knowledge on this matter punishing women for such behavior solely because they don’t know what is going on for them. This does not do the women any good and oftentimes serves as the trigger for them to go even angrier for obvious reasons.
Then, in the postmenopause stage, almost all of the symptoms would disappear; though the trade-off is that women would also become more susceptible to numerous other diseases, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases, And most importantly, women might also fall victim to mental health issues such as depression. All these reasons across the different stages tell us that it's very crucial to treat menopause seriously.
Irregular menstruation is one of the most common symptoms during the menopause transition. The timing, duration, and flow of the menstrual cycle would fluctuate greatly and the extent varies from person to person. Women might also suffer from hot flashes, night sweats. and insomnia. And of course, dramatic mood swings. Examples of such can be seen in the first paragraph that you just read. It's important to mention that this type of condition is not conscious and controllable, and for this reason, they may also feel guilty for their behaviors. That is why we, as adolescents, should have more tolerance and understanding towards them.
Nowadays, sadly, we still live in a society in which people tend to stigmatize everything about menstruation and menopause. Lots of men would presuppose its vulgarity and lack of necessity, while on the other hand lots of women would feel shame when having it brought up and would often conceal their hygiene products to everyone else in the world. Nevertheless, this type of stigma does not stop even when menstruation ends. When women reach menopause, some people would start to link the process with the irreversible passage of youthfulness and age-based discrimination. With the elapse of time, these things tend to become "unspeakable”. Despite that, such attitudes are indeed unproductive and even counterproductive towards the well-being of women or in any shape of form towards the greater society otherwise.
And That is why we are to challenge these stereotypes and promote a better understanding of menopause, a normal part of a woman's life, and with appropriate support, education, and healthcare, women can navigate this transition with confidence and embrace the changes that come with it. And although there is only so much we as adolescents could do, the least we can do here would to treat our moms with patience and empathy, which of course we all can achieve and will of course make the world a better place.
Kaputk. (2023, February 16). What to expect in each stage of Menopause. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/menopause-stages/
Greendale, G. A., Lee, N. P., & Arriola, E. R. (1999). The Menopause. The Lancet, 353(9152), 571–580. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(98)05352-5