What defines a woman? Traditionally it’s their ability to reproduce. But this period of fertility extends from a girl’s attainment of menarche at adolescence and menopause, which usually occurs around 45-50 years of age. If you are above 30 years of age, at some point- you have heard about the dreaded ‘biological clock’. It’s ticking for some female can be as agonising as that of a time bomb. But science has eased us of this problem. With the onset of the forties, our ovaries start producing less estrogen and the level decreases till the monthly release of the egg is stopped permanently. This premenopausal period is extremely difficult for women as it is characterized by hot and cold flashes, insomnia, mood swings and panic attacks, loss of libido and various other physical discomforts. With the absence of your monthly period for more than 12 months, it will mark the onset of your menopause. This is associated with a huge psychological upheaval. So don’t pause your life due to menopause. Let’s burst some old wives myth about menopause: You can’t embrace motherhood any longer: it is true that your eggs are no longer released, but you can nowadays freeze your egg and with IVF, even septuagenarian women can give birth. Consult a gynecologist for further information. There is no need for medical intervention: in some women, the menopausal symptoms can get extremely severe, so don’t shy away from asking for medical help. If left untreated these symptoms can disrupt your normal life. Also, regular check-ups can keep any coronary problem, osteoporosis at bay. Its the end of your intimacy: the libido does ebb, but it doesn’t cease altogether, and with the help of lubricants, life can be as exciting as before. Don’t stop using contraceptives, it’s not only to stop unwanted pregnancy but to prevent STD. You don’t grow old with menopause Women abhor growing old and its various physical manifestations like wrinkles, greying and thinning hair, loss of muscles and weight gain. But ladies, that’s certainly not true! Join a gym or a yoga class, proper blood circulation will keep your skin taut and keep the hair fall and weight gain at bay. It also helps you focus and keeps the mood swings in check. It’s important to put extra importance on your diet. Eat healthily and abstain from alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine. By eating regular meals, you can control weight gain. Water should be your beau during this time. Don’t put your career and social life in the back seat. Menopause doesn’t mean you have to retire and take a sabbatical from life and spend the rest of your days in the kitchen or garden. Meet your friends, and share your experience and laugh at them. Don’t let your career take a back seat but take things in your stride and you never know you can reach the zenith of your achievements. Don’t fear menopause, it is an extremely natural phenomenon, and your life doesn’t need to stop. Make peace with the changes that your body is undergoing. When things get difficult to take a break but surge ahead with a radiant smile!