MOST women experiencing perimenopause and menopause, especially in a very conservative society like the Philippines, find it difficult to express or even share what’s going on in them once their menstrual cycle ends.
According to Pro Age Solutions’ Chief Advocate and Founder Claudine Viquiera, what makes their journey to this critical period in their lives even harder is the fact that there’s no local community that addresses the problems that they encounter.
In fact, she said during their recent launch event in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig that Western countries, particularly in the United States, have just started having communities that support these women since there’s still a stigma and taboos that exist when talking about menopause.
“What more in our country! So locally, I tried to search. But there’s really none,” she said of her personal experience when she finally reached the gateway to aging just earlier this year. “Sometimes we just turn to our friends or relatives to talk about it. But still there’s some degree of embarrassment whenever the topic of menopause is brought up. I guess it’s because when you say menopause, it’s a sign that you’re aging. Again, a negative notion about agism.”
Natural biological process
MENOPAUSE is a natural part of aging. It is a point in time when a person has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period due to the gradual loss in ovarian follicular function and the decline of hormones.
One of these hormones is called progesterone. When its production in the ovary becomes low, the regular menstruation comes with heavy bleeding that could possibly be prolonged, per restorative dermatologist Dr. Jean Marquez.
When the male sex hormone—the testosterone—that women also have in small amount decreases, there is a loss of libido or sexual desire, she noted. But the estrogen is the major culprit in menopause, she pointed out.
“Actually, most of the symptoms that we see in menopause is because of estrogen decline. This is what causes vaginal dryness, atrophy and walls, flushings, sweating, headaches, and memory loss,” Dr. Marquez explained.
“The nice thing about this is that these three hormones actually are also being secreted not just by the ovary, but also of the adrenal gland on top of the kidneys. That’s a bonus, so there’s extra supply. Unless you have adrenal fatigue because of too much stress, that doubles the symptoms,” she added.
In this crucial stage, most of the women experience various symptoms. One of the most prevalent is skin issues. Some are dryness and itching, wrinkles, acne, hot flashes, and melasma.
Because of the changing hormonal levels, menopause also has an impact on women’s mental health. The changes on their skin and appearance are somewhat distressing, thus leading to their loss of self-esteem and confidence.
AT the age of 55, Viquiera has found a new purpose in life after she hit the menopausal stage last January.
Confronted by the silent yet growing stigma on perimenopause and menopause, plus the lack of support system from the society, she took it as a challenge to help address the problem that her fellow women encounter.
This led her to create a community of women in midlife to have a safe space to talk about their experiences while eradicating the taboos and stigma about these stages of aging. This is part of the #OwnYourAge movement, which is a call to women to embrace and be proud of their age as it is a natural part of who they are.
“Once I went through the journey, I knew I had to do something because for me it felt very isolating. Even if I had my closest friends and relatives whom I could talk about, there’s still a symptom that’s very unique. So that’s the part that made me feel isolated,” she recalled.
“I want to have a safe space for women where they can talk about menopause, what they go through on the problems, and go with it without any judgement. That there will be people who will support you, and you’ll be able to talk about your own journey. It’s my advocacy to build a group of women who will support other women. That’s how Pro Age Solutions was born,” she cited.
Throwing her support to the community, health and fitness advocate Cory Quirino pledged to spread the gospel of wellness and share the wisdom and the liberating truth of pro-age. She said: “We are one, we are together, and we will move forward together. And we win and inspire other women to become like us: empowered, inspired and ageless in our challenges in life and in our attitude towards life itself.”
Age defying solutions
PRO Age Solutions has not only led to a support community, but also a pioneering advocacy brand for perimenopausal and menopausal relief and overall wellness. The event witnessed the launch of its first product line that could remedy the skin—the major organ of the body that that has the visible results of these inescapable periods of aging.
“Perimenopause and menopause, basically, is the time when changes happen in a woman’s life. It doesn’t happen at a certain age, which is usually in the 30s. But we’re seeing it more in younger women because of the environmental toxins that we are encountering in all over,” underscored Dr. Joel Lopez, regenerative medicine expert and chief medical ambassador or Pro Age Solutions.
“I’m glad that we have these solutions that work synergistically with the products that we actually do recommend in our practice. And they include, of course, the basics, which is nutrition,” he added.
The skincare products of Pro Age Solutions are formulated in Korea but are made and tested specifically for Filipinas who are experiencing skin issues due to menopause.
“We did not develop it according to the skin of Korean woman living in Korea but based on the results of the research on the weather in the Philippines and the daily routine of Filipino women,” emphasized Veil Cosmetics Research and Development Manager Jacob Park.
Pro Age Solutions skincare line includes witty-titled products, such as No Dirty Secrets, a hydrating facial cica cleanser; The Holy Grail, a cica toner; Quench The Thirst, a cica ampoule serum; Eye See Yah, a cica eye cream; Correct Me If I’m Wrong, a spot corrector; Plump Me Up, a cica moisturizing cream; Cool & Chic, a cooling mist; and Be Gentle With Me, a bakuchiol exosome serum.
Best applied day and night come, it comes in a starter kit of nine products at only P9,800. It’s now available on Pro Age Solutions’ official website. For more information, tune in to their social media at @proagesolutions on both Facebook and Instagram.