Shah Alam – Women should not be afraid to go through the menopausal phase, but to face it with a positive attitude and adopt a healthy lifestyle, National Population and Family Development Board Human Reproduction Division director Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Yussof.
He said said women who underwent menopausal transition would go through physical, mental, emotional and health changes.
He gave some tips for women to control menopause-related stress, like exercise, sleep in a cold room, quit smoking and spending time doing things they you like.
“Many women are afraid to face the menopausal changes because for them menopause means getting old, having health problems, sagging skin, cracking bones and joints and death,” he told Bernama.
Therefore, he said, it is important for women approaching menopause to have friends so that they could go through the phase together positively and be happy.
Dr Mohd Azizuddin said they should also exercise regularly as by doing so, it will help increase the production of endorphins which reduces stress, relieve depression and improve their mood, as well as increase bone and muscle density.
“Regular exercise also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as can improve the mood and body image, which in turn helps increase sexual drive and satisfaction,” he added.
He said there are several types of exercises that are suitable, like weight-bearing exercises as it helps to build the muscle, burn fat and maintain bone density, and cardio related exercises to increase heart beat, such as walking, jogging and gardening, as well as swimming.
According to him, the average menopausal age of women worldwide is 51 years, but studies found that that there is a correlation between high stress rate and early menopause age.
“However, it cannot be determined whether stress is a major cause of early menopause as there are many other factors that play a role in determining a woman’s menopausal age,” he said.
He said among factors that influence menopausal age are use of birth control pills, irregular menstrual cycle, number of pregnancies, serum lead level, consumption of unsaturated fats, socio-economic status and education level.
Studies also found that menopause could be associated with absenteeism from work and decrease in work productivity of women, he added.
Therefore, Dr Mohd Azizuddin said prevention or early detection of health problems is important and should be emphasised by women who are approaching the menopausal age.
“They should change their diet and to exercise, maintain an ideal weight, be proactive in doing regular health checkup, including mammograms and bone density,” he added.
On women taking Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) to treat menopausal symptoms, he said there was still much to be studied on the effects of the supplement.
“Studies on EPO to menopausal symptoms have been done and it is found that EPO can reduce the symptoms of ‘hot flashes’ in menopausal women, but it cannot be proven scientifically because there are studies that do not obtain such a finding,” he added. — Bernama