Monday, June 30, 2014

Nuvafemme, Unravelling The Mysteries Of Femininity

You are in your prime years of 40 to 56. You are menstruating and as far as you know, menopause is still many years away. Yet, you feel different. You don’t know what it is but you know something’s not the same. The experience is totally new and unsettling. You ask yourself - why is your body suddenly sending weird messages like never before?

Chances are you are going through what we women know as the quiet before the storm (menopause) – PERIMENOPAUSE.  An often overlooked time in our lives, perimenopause is a natural transition that women go through when her estrogen levels are fluctuating until she becomes fully menopause. Hence, as natural as it may be, perimenopause can hit you full frontal and affect more than your just menstrual cycle.

Most women experience some degree of disturbing physical, mental or emotional changes during perimenopause. While menopause has obviously struck a chord with the females, the term perimenopause is still less well known and even less well understood. On a mission to heighten public awareness about perimenopause, the Nuvaceuticals™ division of NuvantaSdn Bhd. recently hosted “Feminini-Tea”, an education workshop together with Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Dr. Wong Kim Lei; Clinical Psychologist, Dr.Hariyati Shahrima Abdul Majid and Pharmacist, Datin Swanee Teh.

Themed ‘Embracing Femininity’, the workshop was aimed to educate the fairer sex about perimenopause. Dr. Wong was on hand to address the key issues of perimenopause and to share her advice on coping with the daunting perimenopause prelude, whilst Dr. Hariyati tackled taboo topics related to women and their changing relationships in her trademark witty candour.

“Our new woman” product from NuvantaNuvaceuticals™helps meet the needs of women undergoing changes during perimenopause or more commonly known as the female midlife medley. We are only too familiar how this transition can be a rocky journey for many women especially when she is not fully prepared what to expect, explained Nuvaceuticals™Business Unit Manager, Datin Swanee Teh, who was also present to speak at the workshop. “However, we believe that if we begin paying attention to the signs and signals that our body aregiving us, we will be amazed how much better equipped we can be to deal with the demands when the time comes”, she added.

“Of course, with Dr. Wong and Dr. Hariyati at hand today, two outstanding advocates on women’s health issues, this workshop is aimed at opening the conversation on all things related to perimenopause - the good, the bad, the ugly and the beauty. We believe that this is an ideal platform to tell women that perimenopause is an opportunity for change, for women to take better care of themselves and to prepare for the best years yet to come. By equipping her with knowledge, there will be no need to fear and more freedom to embrace the change. Ultimately, I believe that this workshop will help us to reach out to Malaysian women and provide a viable natural option to help smoothen their journey through womanhood”, she further expressed her gratitude.

When I was invited for this media invitation, I thought to myself it's time to get myself update 1st on menopause awareness before I reach to that stage, as I have seen many women have struggled, facing many difficulties coping with the menopause changes. This is the time where I can share this important information to all esp. the women around the world to deal with this hormonal changes to live life normal like usual. I'm glad I came that afternoon to learn so many informative knowledge unravelling the scientific points of it to the psychological ways to cope with it. Inspiring and interesting topic esp. for women like us. 

I like the fact that the invited speakers have mentioned and agreed that, "Don't always blame to the PMS or menopause imbalance hormonal that's happening to us, giving you any right to throw tantrum or having bad mood most of the time affecting other family members in the family as your children maybe facing puberty changes and your husband is trying to cope with his mid-life crisis also." In fact, I have many true stories on menopause cases that's happening among my family members+friends and I know it's hard for them to cope with the hormonal changes, but it's really no choice as we're naturally born to deal with it. 

Not many women realize that they do not reach menopause over 24 hours. “Often, when a woman is seen experiencing ‘the crazies’, one mightsay, “Oh, she’s going through menopause” when in reality, they are actually describing the wavy perimenopausal journey of her life,"shared Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Wong Kim Lei with a smile. 

“Menopause is defined as the time when a woman has not had her period for 12 consecutive months. Perimenopause is the time “around menopause” which could typically be up to 10 years before or a year after the last period. It is a time of significant change – not unlike a time of “reverse puberty”. Ironically, the perimenopausal prelude can be more troubling than actually hitting menopause itself- much due to symptoms beingstrange, unexpected and new to the woman.” 

In trying to define the way perimenopause is viewed amongst the general public, Dr. Hariyati quipped, “Yes, it’s alright as it affects millions of women worldwide. Yet, because we live in a close conservative society, it is probably the least discussed intimate subject among Asian females. Because of cultural taboo do’s and don’ts, many suffer in silence not being able to understand what they are going through.”

She continued, “I want women to know they are not alone. If they are having a tough time coping, feeling the rage and more often than not living in dread, this is not due to some character flaw, or psychological defect in them. Rather, it is a fact of life that so many others are sharing in. The symptoms, the struggles, and difficulties attributed to perimenopause are universal and it is but the body going through an inevitable physical, physiological and emotional change. By understanding what is happening to them from the inside, perhaps women could come to a point one day to even see the humor in going through these motions and perhaps afford a little smile in her moments of understanding.”

Hormones:Fast and Furious 
“Perimenopause is hormonal driven affair experienced only by the human race”, according to Dr. Wong. “As estrogen levels fluctuate during perimenopause, various changes in the body will invariably take place as estrogen helps regulate more than 400 different functions in women.

“What I tend to see in perimenopausal women is a condition where hormone levels are neither high nor low but frequently high and low. It is this erratic behaviour that triggers this new found perimenopausal “rage” in women”, she explained further.

“Unless women are aware of what is happening and taking steps to prepare the body, nutritionally, mentally and emotionally, many go through difficult times without understanding what exactly is happening. As hormones control so many key features of a woman’s femininity, perimenopause is a time when women will start experiencing various symptoms which could make them feel “unfeminine”, she said.

Genistein: Harmonizing the Hormones 
Besides resorting to medications, it could be better to first achieve good health and hormone balance nutritionally and naturally. Debunking some of the myths related to perimenopause, Datin Swanee, “While nature intended us to go through hormonal transitions, it is not natural to suffer with unbearable, or even uncomfortable health concerns. The important thing is to recognize that symptoms, at any age, are the body’s way of telling us that it is not getting the support that it needs. Made up to be a supermachine, our body does not give out signals without a good reason.” 

For women undergoing changes in their journey through femininity especially during the perimenopausal phase, phytonutrients such as hydrolysedgenistein may hold the key to feminine balance. Taking a cue from how Japanese women go through perimenopause almost seamlessly, research found the answer in a natural ingredient known as genistein found in soy which is a key ingredient in Japanese food.

Genistein is an all-natural, phytoestrogen-antioxidant complex derived from organic soy isoflavones. One of its main actions as a phytoestrogen is to mimic the properties of estrogen produced by a woman’s body naturally. When estrogen levels are low, genistein helps fill in the gap. When levels are high, genistein will compete with estrogen in the body thereby regulating such hormonal ups and downs in the body. The actions of genistein are also selective in that it benefits areas of the body such as the brain(mood and memory improvement), bones(regulating bone building) and heart, without any adverse effects on breast or uterine tissues. 

Research has also highlighted genistein’s metabolic-regulating benefits, especially on fat cells. Women undergoing perimenopause know only too well the agony of eating practically “nothing” and still putting on weight, especially around the belly. This phenomenon is not caused by over-eating or a lack of exercise or our genes. It is simply the hormonal component of weight management “let loose”. The good news is that genistein is a fat regulator whose actions include preventing fat formation, reducing belly fat and inhibiting fat accumulation to complement a woman’s effort in achieving a healthy weight.

When deciding on a genistein supplement, be sure to select one that is derived from 100% organic soy and is non-genetically modified (non-GMO). And whilst it would be good if one could derive hydrolysedgenisteinsimply by drinking soy milk, 80% of soy products in the market unfortunately are genetically-modified. 

Furthermore, it would take at least two gallons of soy milk to derive the amount of genistein from one tablet. And when newfound understanding, age-old wisdom and modern convenience come together, it is inevitable that a “new woman” in control of her destiny is rebirth. 

There are some symptoms to tell when your hard-working ovaries start to take a little break. These symptoms can be broad-ranging and diffuse for every woman. “There are more than 30 associated symptoms, and most women will experience at least a few of them at one go.  However, not every woman will experience every symptom, neither will every woman experience them to the same degree”, elaborated Dr. Wong. 

Our menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, the flow may be light to heavy and we may even skip some periods or encounter “phantom” ones as the levels of estrogen rises and falls unevenly and unpredictably during perimenopause. That’s not all, women may also experience “de-feminising” signals, such as weight gain  or extra pounds to the waistline due to a metabolism slowdown; skin dryness, hair loss, decreased libido and vaginal dryness, just to name a few other symptoms. 

Hormones and brain chemistry are intimately intertwined. When hormones swing, the brain’s feel-good chemistry also changes leading to many women experiencing mood disturbances and depression including irritability, out-of-proportion anger and sadness, besides memory slips and poor concentration. On a larger picture, many a marriage or relationship are strained during perimenopause, often without the couple realizing that hormones may be to blame. 

“Don’t panic when your moods goes into a yo-yo mode. Feeling fine one minute, and crying the next may be a matter of biochemistry out-of-balance. You are not broken although you may feel like it. In fact, it’s not the end of the world. Perimenopause may actually be nature’s way of telling women to care for themselves more closely when she has been caring for others all this while. It can be possible for this phase to be a blessing in disguise, something important to cherish”, assured Dr. Hariyati.

Femininity is defined as the quality of being female, womanliness. The science of nuvafemme enables women to embrace their femininity to the fullest. Nuvafemme is an ideal product for women undergoing the perimenopausal phase. With Nuvafemme, every woman now have hope to stay their womanly selves a little longer, more happier and a lot healthier. 

Perimenopause is a complex physiological transition typically starting from age 40 years old. It is a period which can last up to 10-15 years before the final menstrual period. Changes in menstruation occur within this period alongside various psychological symtptoms. It's not recommended for expectant mothers and for those who are breastfeeding. Take two tablets daily after meals, one in the morning and one in the evening. Stay healthy, happy and pretty!

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