Bbc Menopause Documentary: Popular culture is often linked with adolescents and young adults. Although the focus is on a 49-year-old female lead who is facing the ravages of middle age, the new Netflix series is being acclaimed for its ability to shine a light on women’s lifelong struggle with their own bodies.
In one moment from Bombay Begums, Rani, played by Bollywood actress-turned-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt, walks out of a board meeting without saying anything.
Meanwhile, her coworkers are trying to figure out what’s going on, and the camera catches her in the bathroom, pouring cold water on her face and attempting to dry her armpits using the hand dryer.
‘The majority of people assumed she was having a heart attack,’ recalls Namita Bhandare, gender editor for the news website Article 14, “but I had a clear understanding of what was taking place.”
Rani, which means “queen” in Hindi, is a brilliant, intellectual, and articulate woman who serves as the CEO of a significant bank. When it comes to her personal needs, she, on the other hand, remains silent, even going into denial when a younger female colleague expresses empathy.
According to Ms Bhandare, there could be a variety of reasons why Rani would wish to keep it a secret.
“There’s the caricature of the average menopausal female boss – illogical, impatient, screechy – and she’s a professional who doesn’t want her colleagues to know she’s going through a difficult time.
“Another possibility is that she’s coming to terms with her body at a time when women are supposed to deal with it on their own,” says the author. According to the Indian Menopause Society (IMS), there are 150 million women in the country who are experiencing menopause. The average age of menopause in the United States is 46.2 years; globally, the average age is 51. Hot flushes, night sweats, sleep difficulties, anxiety, sadness, mood changes, and a loss of desire in sex are some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms of menopause.
“Women go through menopause for roughly one-third of their life, yet there is little public knowledge of the condition,” says Dr Anita Shah, a gynecologist and IMS secretary.
Approximately half of the women over 40 years of age who come to Dr. Shah with symptoms of menopause are aware of what is happening to their bodies and why it is happening, according to Dr Shah, who has been practicing in the western city of Surat for more than three decades.
This is due to the fact that in India, menopause is considered taboo, much more so than menstruation.
According to Ms Bhandare, “there have been campaigns surrounding periods in recent years, and we’ve even had a big Bollywood film like Padman that was based on the theme, but menopause remains utterly invisible.”