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topicality, Essentiel-de-Féminité, Interview

Menstruation, libibo, sexuality, exclusive interview with Doctor Odile Bagot

Published on 17/06/2022
topicality, Essentiel-de-Féminité, Interview
Menstruation, libibo, sexuality, exclusive interview with Doctor Odile Bagot
Published on 17/06/2022

Doctor Bagot, well known under the avatar of Mam Gyneco, is an obstetrician gynecologist, specialized in psychosomatic gynecology and author of many books related to femininity.


1) Dr. Bagot, evoleum has just launched a new line of dietary supplements to support women at the times when they need it most: menstruation, libido and menopause. Are these subjects at the heart of your patients' concerns?

These are indeed recurring subjects and they are interesting because if the questions around the libido concern all women, the two other subjects are at the heart of the two specific periods of a woman's genital life, before and after the passage to menopause.


2) On the first period of femininity, the one when menstruation occurs, it seems that the word has been liberated on what is called premenstrual syndrome, how do women relate to menstruation?

Menstruation consists of three phenomena: inflammation, pain and contraction. It is therefore necessary to play on these three components to fight against pain, without forgetting to anticipate it because once the algic process has started, it becomes much more difficult to alleviate it.

Painful periods are still too often considered and accepted as an inevitability and I am sometimes confronted with women who refuse any "chemical" treatment and prefer the hot water bottle, the effectiveness of which has been shown in a study at this time of their cycle. Why not, but if this dysmenorrhea is secondary to endometriosis, it is imperative to block the periods with a pill in order to limit the evolution of the disease!


3) The male libido is a subject that has always been widely discussed, but what about the female libido? Is it still a taboo subject for your patients?

In a schematic way, the libido of the man is more hormonal and that of the woman more contextual, although, fortunately, the two components cohabit in the same individual! A certain number of collective unconscious constructions persist: for example, a woman who expresses and claims her desire could be suspected of nymphomania whereas, in the same case, a man will be admired for his virility.

This type of myth needs to be challenged. In my sexology consultations at the beginning of my career, I often found the classic pattern of a female libido lower than that of the male partner, whereas today the trend iséquilibre and sometimes even reversed.


4) In working on menopause, have you noticed several visions of the menopausal woman? Does menopause have a special status?

In the Middle Ages, old age began at 40! Today, at 51, the average age of menopause, many women are still in full possession of their physical, intellectual and professional capacities. In some cultures, such as among the Banded Fulani of Senegal, the menopausal woman, freed from the constraints of motherhood, reaches a better social status and can even become a village chief like a man to whom, incidentally, she is assimilated. Inversely, among the Gisu, a Bantu people of Uganda, once she has reached menopause, the woman is no longer "useful" to the community and finds herself ostracized from it. In Asian civilizations, the traditional attitude towards ageing is part of the order of things and menopause is often experienced with respect and serenity.


5) How has the vision of menopause evolved? What is the relationship between women and aging today? What can be said about the perception and experience of menopause in our western civilizations?

Socially, menopause does not represent a rupture because it is experienced in the intimacy of each woman. What questions more is the fear of aging and its rejection: here it is necessary to be young and beautiful! Concerning the experience of the menopause according to the socio-professional profile, a study has shown that it was all the better when there were no more children at home and that the cultural and professional level was high. These women are often relatively successful socially, economically and emotionally independent and have a strong professional commitment. The cessation of menstruation is a real relief for them, they do not feel threatened in their femininity, in short they have a good self-esteem.

By Margaux Guder, published on 17/06/2022
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