#WomenHealth: Menopause In India

Nirupama2022/08/25 22:01

Numerous studies have shown that menopausal symptoms fluctuate dramatically between cultures, and women's menopause experiences vary significantly across nations. In different cultures, menopause is connected with either favourable or unfavourable attitudes, views, or experiences. These elements include biological, psychological, social, and cultural ones. However, there is evidence that Indian culture has a significant impact on how menopausal women feel.

Menopause is experienced differently by different cultural groups of women, which suggests that these groups may have distinct requirements and perspectives when going through the menopausal transition. Rural Indian civilizations tend to ignore women's health, especially menopause, and this neglect may have its roots in sociocultural traditions. 

The Role of Indian Men in Women's health:

From time immemorial, men have had easier access to healthcare. Even medical research for many years was more skewed toward men, and the findings were later automatically extended to the other gender. From a woman's pregnancy to menopause, the husband's function has been extensively studied. It was also determined whether they were aware of their wives' issues with reproductive health. The husbands didn't know enough about the safe period. 

When it comes to making decisions that are essential to women's reproductive health, men frequently play significant and dominant roles. Due to the low position of women in rural Indian society, they are still reliant on their husbands for the proper and sufficient treatment of their illnesses. Many of the issues affecting women's reproductive health are typically attributed to men as a whole. 

Menopause is stigmatised in India since it is a taboo subject, therefore women are solely valued for their capacity to bear children. It is much harder to get this discussion in front of the public due to the lack of specific statistics on female sexuality and gynec issues. Women aren't ready to discuss their health issues, even with professionals, and this has an impact on how Indian societies view Menopause. 

Biggest Challenges Faced by Indian Women:

Many menopausal women and menstruating girls have limitations in their daily lives. The main restriction during menstruation is to avoid the temple chamber, whereas, for menopausal women, it is to avoid family events out of embarrassment. Girls and women who are menstruating are forbidden from praying or touching sacred objects. Menopause is no different as women are criticized for no longer being able to conceive. While menstruation women are considered filthy and unsanitary, menopausal women are shamed for no longer ovulating and not being able to reproduce.

Lack of Support Among Families:

The mentality of disregarding women's health has long been prevalent. The pandemic has made it even harder for women just when we thought things couldn't have gone more wrong for them. Due to the Due to the unpredictable lockdowns and the crucial care that families at the period needed, women assumed the majority of unpaid chores. India is developing in every conceivable way, yet there is always room for improvement when it comes to women's health and timely access to healthcare. 

Many women have been unable to receive nonjudgmental treatment due to the stigma associated with menopause, sexual, and reproductive health issues. In fact, a full-stack and comprehensive approach to women's healthcare is urgently needed.

Enabling women to receive healthcare in the comfort of their own homes and bringing awareness on sex education and understanding of sexual health-related issues among husbands is still a long-distant dream. Nevertheless, women experience greater suffering and worse health outcomes, which has an impact not only on them but also on their families.

Gross Neglect Of Women's Health:

Menopause is more taboo in India than menstruation. One of the reasons it has become difficult to start a discourse about menopause is because it touches on two significant taboos in Indian society: women's reproductive health and ageing. Age, for instance, is respected in Asian cultures. As a result, menopausal women might be given greater status. This has drastically altered over time and is backwards. As they hit this stage of life, some Indian women feel less happy because ageing is increasingly frequently linked to a loss of worth and attractiveness. The menopausal years are viewed as the enemy of youth and cause a woman's feminine beauty to be disqualified. 

Menopause was also regarded to be a source of mental disease, kleptomania, and/or sexual hysteria according to the social construct in the country. Meanwhile, the least talked-about element of women's health was and is always menopause. It is still difficult to make gynaecological health treatments easily accessible. To enhance health, it is also necessary to raise awareness of menstruation and address unmet family planning needs. Another crucial aspect of women's rights is establishing accountability for offering women high-quality healthcare services. 

Women have a very high tolerance for stillness and patience as a result of social conditioning. When seeking medical care in rural locations, women frequently run into poor-quality facilities where it's common to experience harassment and abuse during pregnancy and childbirth.


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