The UPV Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Committee, in partnership with the Health Services Unit, held a lecture forum titled “Menopause & Andropause: Understanding and Managing the Changes & Transition” on October 26, 2022, with Ma. Gemma Victoria P. Trasporto, M.D., FPOGS as resource speaker. The forum was attended by 130 participants online.
“Thank you for this lecture forum. This is very timely and highly relevant for us,” says one of the participants who attended the said event via Zoom.
Trasporto, who was introduced by UPV Health Services Unit Chief, Dr. Ma. Cecilia Villaruz, gave a very comprehensive discussion on the stages of menopause and andropause, starting with the formation of the woman’s egg cells and the men’s testes in the mother’s womb. She talked about the reproductive stages of men and women.
She discussed the declining hormones in women during the menopausal stage that causes their period to stop, apart from the many discomforts that women undergo, such as hot flashes and bone density loss, among others. She also marked that women are prone to cardiovascular diseases, which become a leading cause of death for them.
To manage menopause, Dr. Trasporto said that women should be even more vigilant in having a healthy diet which consists of eating more fruits and vegetables: ½ in a plate serving, ¼ protein, and ¼ carbohydrates, which should be the high fiber kind. She added that water is still the best beverage to drink. She was very specific that women should avoid food that is spicy, high in saturated and trans fat, refined sugar, and excessive sodium, and also refrain from excessive alcohol consumption. She suggested food with phytoestrogens to be part of one’s meal.
In addition, she also suggested regular and moderate exercises, two to three hours a week, with weightlifting thrown in the mix. On top of this, she said that women should have enough sleep of at least seven to nine hours and take vitamin supplements such as calcium and zinc.
For the men, Dr. Trasporto said that andropause is marked by a decrease in the male hormone called testosterone. Because of this, men experience difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection, have a low sex drive, lack energy and strength, experience muscle loss, and, just like the women, also experience depression, irritability, and mood swings.
The difference between menopause and andropause is that men experience a gradual decrease in their testosterone, whereas, in women, the dropping of the estrogen level is more drastic.
Another difference is that although all men undergo andropause around their 50s, not all will experience the symptoms.
In managing andropause, Trasporto offered the same management scheme to that of the women: a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep. She added both men and women should learn to manage stress by pursuing hobbies that relax them, such as gardening or walking one’s dog and having a spiritual life. She added that both men and women at this stage in their life should have regular blood chemistry check-ups and have their BPs monitored.
Dr. Trasporto is a Diplomate and Fellow of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. She has been the Head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Section of Central Philippine University, College of Medicine, since 2003 up to the present. She is also the Assistant Director of Qualimed Hospital Iloilo from 2016 up to the present.
She has lectured on: 1) Sexual Purity and Teenage Risk-Taking Behaviors (“Why Wait?” 2) Parenting, 3) Addressing Women’s Health Issues and Wellness (“What Women Ought to Know” lecture series), and 4) Breastfeeding promotion and equipping Moms-to-be. These are also her advocacies.
A male reactor from the Campus Maintenance Development Office, Jay Nuevaespaña, a nurse by profession, shared his andropause experience. He said that as a nurse, he has accepted that andropause is part of life – the waning strength, low energy, and even depression. He said he manages the transition and symptoms by exercising and living a healthy lifestyle.
Mary Lyncen Fernandez, Chair of the UPV Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Committee, shared that she is also amid menopause and has observed, among others, a significant decrease in energy and is having hot flashes that make her sweat profusely. She also credits regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep as ways by which to manage menopause. (UPV IPO)