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Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?

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Rumncoke 03 Dec 12 - 05:32 AM
GUEST 02 Dec 12 - 01:46 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Sep 12 - 06:27 PM
foggers 14 Sep 12 - 10:26 AM
JennieG 13 Sep 12 - 05:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Sep 12 - 05:17 PM
Ebbie 13 Sep 12 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Mary 13 Sep 12 - 03:34 PM
freda underhill 23 Jan 12 - 07:46 AM
Moses 27 Oct 03 - 10:35 AM
SINSULL 26 Oct 03 - 07:03 PM
mg 26 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM
Bearheart 26 Oct 03 - 06:29 PM
Helen 26 Oct 03 - 05:26 PM
Desdemona 10 Oct 03 - 05:06 PM
Janie 10 Oct 03 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 10 Oct 03 - 03:28 PM
Art Thieme 10 Oct 03 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Vron 10 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM
JennyO 10 Oct 03 - 12:05 PM
Kaleea 10 Oct 03 - 12:06 AM
rich-joy 09 Oct 03 - 11:23 PM
Joybell 09 Oct 03 - 07:58 PM
Jennyldb 09 Oct 03 - 07:12 PM
Mr Red 09 Jul 01 - 06:41 PM
Deni 05 Jul 01 - 04:59 AM
Deni 05 Jul 01 - 04:58 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Jul 01 - 01:27 AM
Kaleea 05 Jul 01 - 12:44 AM
Deni 04 Jul 01 - 05:43 AM
Bluegrass Girl 02 Jul 01 - 03:59 PM
Mr Red 02 Jul 01 - 02:16 PM
Judy Predmore 01 Jul 01 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,Celtic Soul 01 Jul 01 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Ickle Dorritt 01 Jul 01 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Ickle dorritt 01 Jul 01 - 05:19 PM
balladeer 01 Jul 01 - 04:55 PM
Alice 01 Jul 01 - 10:10 AM
Ferrara 01 Jul 01 - 09:56 AM
Robin2 30 Jun 01 - 10:37 PM
Shall 30 Jun 01 - 11:20 AM
Mr Red 30 Jun 01 - 09:25 AM
Llanfair 29 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM
Shall 29 Jun 01 - 03:00 PM
Fortunato 29 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM
Mr Red 28 Jun 01 - 06:22 PM
harriet 28 Jun 01 - 10:09 AM
Deni 28 Jun 01 - 01:12 AM
GUEST,moonwoman18@home.com 27 Jun 01 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,b;t 27 Jun 01 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 05:32 AM

I can't say I have noticed any alteration, even at 61 years of age but maybe I just don't listen. However, I buy soya yoghurt from time to time, that might possibly be helping, and my blood group is A.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 01:46 PM

Interestingly, it is my lower voice that cracks at times. My upper range has improved with practicing more. Reflux can be a hidden problem, but that medication has not helped my problem. Any comments?


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 06:27 PM

My voice "mended" after having a longstanding break in mid-register - from late teenage years - which used to make me very nervous in case I hit one of those "break" notes in a song. I then got a virus which half-paralysed one vocal chord (as seen by ENT surgeon down his endoscope) and took about 6 months to recover. Thereafter, the break had disappeared, so every cloud has a silver lining! I also sing choral music where you can't choose your key but have to sing whatever's written, including sometimes way higher than I'd really choose - but that does actually pay dividends in terms of maintaining your range - on the Post Office "use it or lose it" principle While I'd naturally choose to sing between F or G below middle C up to the C above, I can reach top G on a good day or if "messing about"!


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: foggers
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 10:26 AM

Well said Ebbie!

I am 50 and am suddenly very interested in getting my head around what it means for me to be peri-menopausal and what this transitional phase is going to bring. There is a fantastic book called the "No Nonsense Guide to the Menopause" which is a proper evidence based account of the various aspects of the transition, women's experiences and what can help. However, it does not say anything that could help us singers! And the one thing that I would really find difficult to adjust to would be a sudden deterioration in my voice because singing is such a fundamental part of who I am.

This thread has some great advice and ideas though, which creates some hope, and it reminds me of why I like dropping by on Mudcat, cos ya never know when a little gem like this might pop up.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: JennieG
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 05:36 PM

Yes, they do mend.......but they are not the same as before!

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 05:17 PM

Voices break at different stages of our life for men and women. Then they mend.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 04:08 PM

2. Keep singing. Sing around the house and in the shower."

That is what I've noticed: when I don't sing as much my voice sounds tinny and uncertain to me. Singing in the exactly perfect key for each particular song is much more important to me then.

I had a relatively easy menopause. Warm flushes but not hot flashes, and no dripping wet face. A friend of mine almost literally soaked her clothes during her 'special' moments. I was lucky.

I think of menopause as being a transitional thing as real and important as puberty all those years before but no more so. No one asks whether puberty has to be treated with hormones. Both are natural processes, neither is a disease, neither calls for extreme measures.

Menopause may cause or exacerbate mood swings- so did puberty. Don't you remember?


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 03:34 PM

I am a classical soprano. Before the menopause I could practise for hours and I was getting some semi-professional work as a soloist, as well as amateur stuff. As the menopause kicked in, my voice deteriorated quickly, which was very distressing, and I had to cancel engagements. I am now 61. I can still sing, but the top notes are not as good, and I cannot sing for long without the voice getting tired. I eat healthily, don't drink much alcohol and have never smoked. I do my best to keep my singing going, but it is not what it was. The last few recitals I did, the accompanist had to play after every few songs so my voice could rest. I've reluctantly come to accept the change, but it is disappointing.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menopause. Effect on the voice?
From: freda underhill
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 07:46 AM

my voice is lower, I'm more relaxed, I recommend it as a great time of life -the moon waxes and wanes, I'm pretty much at peace. a mellow and very happy time. chin hairs? I stroke them..


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Moses
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:35 AM

I'm nearly 57 and in the past year or so have discovered a completely different voice! I'd been used to singing, without much power, in a voice described as "sensitive and sweet", when it was pointed out to me that we all have two voices (chest voice and head voice), a fact I had been unaware of for more than half a century. (Yes I know, HOW??, but it's true).

Friends say I have "blossomed". I can now be heard at the back of the room and I seem to have a bit more confidence. I have no idea if my chest voice would have changed at menopause if I had discovered it beforehand but it's "growing" slightly in range as I push it to the limits.

Water definitely helps to stop the tendency to "break" on some of the high notes but really needs to be drunk throughout the day to prevent the throat drying up (lots of trips to the loo then). Alcohol and fizzy drinks both a no no.

Good luck to all who have this time of life to look forward to - HRT? haven't made my mind up yet as I've only just gone back on it in the hope that the skin will get wrinkled less quickly and I won't get saggy tits!


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: SINSULL
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 07:03 PM

I can handle the hot flashes and have never given a whole lot of thought to my voice BUT chin hairs???? and ACNE???? this just isn't fair. I tried hormones and had my first run in with migraines. No thanks. So do I shave or wax or electrocute them?


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: mg
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM

please read up on soy and the thyroid...not good news...I think Dr. Mary Enig has opinions on this, as do many people.....

mg


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Bearheart
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 06:29 PM

I have found that what has helped me the most to retain voice quality is working with appropriate herbs and following the Blood Type diet. As a Blood Type O I found that avoiding wheat and dairy reduced my respiratory problems (esp recurring colds, flus and sore throats, and a generally mucousy condition even when not sick) to almost none. (I had colds and ear aches all the time as a child, and frequently as an adult whenever eating a fair amount of these foods.) Respiratory illness makes it really hard to sing (!), and the after effects are almost as bad.

Herbs have been really helpful in curbing my reproductive difficulties, both premenopausal and menopausal. (I don't get hot flashes to speak of-- especially if I curb my alcohol consumption-- which other folks say is also not good for the voice). I also use herbs at the first sign of respiratory illness if I've been stupid enough to "cheat". Osha Root is excellent for knocking down a sore throat, and many Native American singers use it during the longer (many days long) ceremonies where they are singing continuously.

As for HRT-- It's been pretty well documented in Britain and elsewhere that it is dangerous for most women-- and there are reliable safe herbal alternatives. As far as soy products, the extensive research into Blood Types indicates that Soy is very good for Blood Type A-- the most likely blood type to develop cancer--and the most prevalent blood type in Japan-- but it is not good for Type B, according to some research. Other research has indicated soy can in some people cause thyroid problems. I will say that my sister--Blood Type B-- has developed a thyroid disease and quit eating soy when she heard it could cause such. (She does not follow the BLood Type protocol.) If I were an A I would definitely do soy, but I wouldn't count on it to help much in my case. It mostly gives me gas!

As to the emotional changes that may come with menopause-- I am much more mellow now than when I was PMSing-- but I also try to avoid coffee (not recommended for Os, it messes with both adrenals and thyroid)-- and drink lots of chamomile tea instead. Since I have started eating for my Blood Type I no longer need coffee to jump start me-- I have lots of energy-- so it's way easier to avoid the caffeine. And if this sounds like deprivation, I can only say it's lots better than arthritis, being cranky all the time, and feeling like I never get enough sleep--which is how life was before! I'm not afraid of menopause any more because I feel healthy and strong.

Bekki


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Helen
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 05:26 PM

I am premenopausal (peri-menopausal is the term my doctor uses). I have not had many symptoms yet, but the irregular periods etc seem to be very much related to the under-active thyroid (hypothyroid) condition I was diagnosed with last year.

I do not sing but I am a teacher and I had terrible trouble with my voice before the hypothyroidism was diagnosed. It was husky & croaky, and I was constantly breathless, as if my lungs had shrunk. I know when my thyroid is acting up - or actually down - because my period is late, but I have also been tested for my hormone levels and I am showing up as peri-menopausal.

I knew nothing about thyroid problems before all of this and now I know a whole lot more. It made my life hell until I was diagnosed, and the (female) doctor I had, who exhibited all the symptoms of a traditional muschroom doctor ("keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em bullshit") made it a whole lot worse so I switched to a brilliant doctor, also female, who is much more enlightened about patient/client service & info sharing, and also about natural therapies complementing medical therapy.

So, my suggestion is to also check out the info on thyroid conditions and how they can affect the voice, because women around this age are the ones most affected by it.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Desdemona
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 05:06 PM

For the record, I'm 39, the mother of 3, and if family history can be relied upon, can look forward to at least another dozen years of menstrual "bliss". That said, I feel compelled to weigh in with the women above who so appositely point out that menopause is just another natural phase of the human experience, not a character flaw or a shameful secret. I'll worry about the whole HRT thing when I get there, but in musical terms: if getting older can help a woman to sing like Norma Waterson, I say bring it on!!

D.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Janie
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 04:53 PM

I have always had a low voice, but post menopause my voice tones became richer and more complex.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 03:28 PM

Men get blamed for too much.

I think it should be renamed "womenopause."

Actually, it does sound like some women's voices are affected. Combine that with years of smoking and you get Marge Simpson's sisters.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 02:20 PM

KENDALL,

If you've ever been in prison, please take note of the fact that there is one o' those at the end of every sentence.

So, good sir, you have had a period !!!!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,Vron
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM

The only "menopausal symptoms" I had turned out to be a wildly out of control thyroid, - a common thing around menopause. I also lost upper voice range for a couple of years, and believing this to be an irreversible result of over active thyroid, was pleasantly surprised to regain about half the loss once the thyroid had been knocked out. My consultant said why wouldn't it return. I'm now 59 and still sing all the time in different styles and situations. I have learnt less harmful voice use, so that I am not so vocally challenged at the end of a day in the classroom. Learning to breathe properly has also helped.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: JennyO
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 12:05 PM

I still seem to have the same vocal range I have always had, which is quite wide, but I am enjoying singing more in the low ranges these days. There is a quality developing which I rather like. Overall, I would say my voice is definitely improving.

And definitely no HRT for me after my naturopath warned me off it. I have lots of soy and vegetables, but I'm finding it harder and harder these days not to become more "horizontally enhanced".

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Kaleea
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 12:06 AM

Gentlemen--you may be so kind as to consider that this is, indeed a serious subject for many professional Musicians.
    As a Vocal Music Educator, I have long been studying the voice, and many vocal techniques & treatises. Most women experience changes in their voices with the onset of puberty. Their voices may become higher or lower, and the teenage years may bring about the common breathiness or the voice which sounds like there is alot of "air" in the voice. When the menstrual cycle comes, this may also affect the female voice . Some women experience a noticable change around/during the time of menopause. Good vocal training can help one learn to vocalize properly to keep problems from happening, or at least to diminish vocal problems.       Alcohol is VERY damaging to the vocal folds--aka vocal "chords/cords" which are not cords, nor even chord like, but actual folds of tissue. HOT or COLD beverages & extreme temperatures can cause vocal folds not work properly, and such things as chemical poisons like tobacco smoke, cleaning solutions, perfumes, & many other things can & will cause permanent damage like alcohol.   The healthy woman with a well trained singing voice often peaks vocally around her early-mid 20's, & the voice will never sound quite this glorious again, while a healthy man may continue to sing very well, long afterward. This is true of the trained voice. One cannot hold the untrained voice of rock, blues, jazz or folk etc. music to the same standards as the trained voice. THIS IS NOT A SLAM AGAINST VOCALISTS WITHOUT SERIOUS OPERA TRAINING! The untrained voice does not noticeably seem so changed with age as the trained voice. Partly because the untrained voice has not worked for several years to overcome many vocal problems & bad habits. Also because the trained voice has a much more refined tone, presumably correct pitch, a well defined vibrato, & it has been transformed into one smooth sounding voice all up & down the higher & lower registers.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: rich-joy
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 11:23 PM

I'm 52 now and in the thick of The Great Mental Pause!!
My singing voice has dropped - but over at least the last 5-7 years. I think it's better, more fuller, but I haven't got the same flexibility as I had - for ornamentation e.g., but, that could also be coz I don't use it as much as I used to!!
The Hot Flushes (sorry, Power Surges!) are still a bugga - despite taking Remifemin - and the heat comes from the IN side, so fans etc are only a slight help, but, most people seem to understand what's happening to me and make sympathetic jokes!! And I'm damned if I'll give up eating curries and garlic and ginger and good things like that!!!
I do get distraught around period time (much more than when I actually HAD them!!!) and Life gets on top of me for a few days, then it clears and I wonder : what the hell THAT was all about!!!

One of the worst aspects is, I think, loss of memory - esp. for SONG words - that is a REAL BASTARD - I've lost confidence in performing without words now, which changes your whole performance and delivery of a song.

We won't even mention the weight gain thing though ...
HOW many years does this Change last?????????

Cheers!
R-J


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Joybell
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:58 PM

This is a great thread, within a great community. I'm so glad I came here.
My own experiences with menopause/ageing are that my soprano voice is definitly getting a bit shakier and a bit thinner. I have gained a few of low notes and friends say my voice is more expressive. I love them for it. The problem of dryness, for me, is complicated by a strange, not terminal, but slowly degenerative condition called "Sjogren's Syndrome". It affects all the moisture producing tissues of the body like joint linings, eyes, and mucus membranes in the mouth, throat and airways. Asthma is a side effect. Cigarette smoke is life-threatening.
Anyway to get to the point of dryness and the hoarse throat that accompanies it - One tip I've found that helps is - Throat clearing is best done by saying "HUH" several times. This brings your vocal chords together in the same way but is less damaging.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Jennyldb
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:12 PM

Hello
Im new to Mudcat and this is my first posting :)
Im 20 so no where near menopause yet (i hope!). Thought id have a look at some of the science stuff i have access to (Medline). Below are a few links to some interesting pages on the web and the sciency text below that is from a medical journal article. It would appear that there have been 25 papers published on the effects of menopause and the voice. None of them are available in full text on the web but if anyone would like a list of the citations so they can have a look in the library then email me and I will send them.

On the subject of HRT, bone density decreases at about 2% per year for a number of years after the menopause. HRT prevents this happening which is obviously good but the side effects and risks for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease make it less appealing. Everyone has to weigh up the risks and benefits for themselves. HRT is often recommended for women with premature menopause as they lose more bone density because of the longer time without oestrogen.

hopefully my generation of doctors will be more understanding and not shove things down peoples' throats so much. They are trying to change us....

Very interesting thread. Im interested performing arts medicine and this is sonething id not thought of before.

http://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/public/vastavox/2002-February/000280.html

http://www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/archives/2002/f020723.htm

http://www.shef.ac.uk/janedavidson/voiceproject.html

The female voice evolves from childhood to menopause, under the varied influences of estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormones are the dominant factor in determining voice changes throughout life.

For example, a woman's voice always develops masculine characteristics after an injection of testosterone. Such a change is irreversible.

Voice is characterized by its intensity, frequency, and harmonics. The harmonics are hormonally dependent. This is illustrated by the changes that occur during male and female puberty: In the female, the impact of estrogens at puberty, in concert with progesterone, produces the characteristics of the female voice, with a fundamental frequency one third lower than that of a child.

Vocal professionals are particularly affected by changes in the voice and In a study of 100 menopausal women, 17 presented with a menopausal vocal syndrome. To rehabilitate their voices, and thus their professional lives, patients were prescribed hormone replacement therapy and multi-vitamins. All 97 women showed signs of vocal muscle atrophy, reduction in the thickness of the mucosa and reduced mobility in the cricoarytenoid joint. Multi-factorial therapy (hormone replacement therapy and multi-vitamins) has to be individually adjusted to each case depending on body type, vocal needs, and other factors.

Women experience more frequent problems with voice emission, voice control and reaching their highest registers after menopause.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 06:41 PM

There is always Textual Intercourse
& yes it was good for me


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Deni
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 04:59 AM

Thanks to the voice coach. I wish I could have my voice trained as i've been having problems on and off for two years, due, I've been told to relaxed vocal folds. I have never yet found a teacher I can feel comfortable with.

To LTS. Sex is what you get when the audience claps and an orgasm is a standing ovation!

Cheers D

D


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Deni
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 04:58 AM

Thanks to the voice coach. I wish I could have my voice trained as i've been having problems on and off for two years, due, I've been told to relaxed vocal folds. I have never yet found a teacher I can feel comfortable with.

To LTS. Sex is where the audience claps and an orgasm is where you get a standing ovation!

Cheers D

D


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 01:27 AM

Sorry, couple of phrases there I didn't recognise - sex life and orgasms..... can anyone remind me what these are please??!!!

*BG*

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Kaleea
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 12:44 AM

How about an opinion from a voice instructor? Just as menopause differs from woman to woman, the effects on the voice differ. What I have ascertained is that when one is a properly trained vocalist--trained in the "Belle Conto" method which is the preferred method in most of the world, one has an instrument which is open and full, and muscles which are strong and resilient. If the vocal folds (they are actually folds of tissue, not "chords" or "cords") of a trained vocalist are well excercised on a regular basis throughout one's singing life, one will not experience tremendously noticeable effects of menopause, providing, of course, that one takes care to ensure proper nutrition, etc. and a healthy lifestyle. Alcohol and smoking (to include second hand smoke!) are quite damaging to the vocal folds whether one is 20 or 60, as are pollution and many everyday chemicals and cleaning solutions. I have had female voice students who have come to me after they retired to seek the vocal training they always wanted but never had the opportunity for. These women have enjoyed beautiful singing voices-provided that the talent was inherently there. Our larynx moves over the years and that is why we hear the noticeable difference from earlier to later decades, in addition to other health situations, of course. In summation, menopause need have no noticeable effect upon your voice if you are healthy and vocalize regularly. The most important thing you can do is to seek proper vocal instruction no matter what your age.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Deni
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 05:43 AM

This news from Bluegrass Girl has to be worth a refresh.

'Hot Flashes were a lot like orgasms -- but they were from the waist up this time. Embrace life in all its forms and at all ages.'

Still dreading the menopause after hearing that? I don't think so!

D


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Bluegrass Girl
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 03:59 PM

Really enjoyed this thread! My opinion (and have been through the dreaded MP) -- it's all a matter of attitude!

Hot Flashes were a lot like orgasms -- but they were from the waist up this time. Embrace life in all its forms and at all ages.

Pleased to report (at 61) that this is the "best age to be" -- a thought I've had through all the ages.

Do consider the positive points when looking into HRT. I take hormones -- although they did stop those lovely flashes!


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 02:16 PM

Alice

Sorry to confuse
I was referring to one person and the relative "irrationalities" before and after, particularly with HRT.

It is a common observation that a lot of divorces in long term marriages get blamed on the outward symptoms of menopause.
In my limited experience it menopause tends to accentuate resident characteristics.
I knew one lass who had no problems, she was placid and a really nice person. I make the connection.
I've known irrational men, but most of the gender sniping is about differences that clearly exist. Women call it intuition men have a different take on it - by and large.
Vivre la difference (notice the gender there?)


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Judy Predmore
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:18 PM

Lots of great info. Don't thread creep just because I'm going to vent one of my pet peeves: I have two words to say about how male hormones can make men irrational & unsuited for positions of responsibility: Bill, Clinton. (And I'm a flaming liberal...)

Now back to all that useful info & feedback from all ages & genders...


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,Celtic Soul
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 08:01 PM

Deni.

As a perimenopausal singer, and from what I have been told by friends who sing and who have gone through the whole shebang, it can have differing effects on differing women.

For a friend of mine who sings Irish music locally here in the DC area, but who was operatically trained, she says that she has noticed her midrange failing on her sooner than in earlier years.

For me, I have noticed a lowering of my range, though not a lessening (I have a lower lowest note, and a lower highest note, but still have my same approximate slightly less than 3 octaves).

I have noticed that some female singers over a certain age tend not to be able to project as they once did in youth, though I do not know if it is menopausal in origin. As an example, Dinah Shore lost a great deal of her oomph during her talk show years, but had quite a lot more control and power when she was younger (and boy-howdy, am I showing my age on that one!)

I think that there is no hard and fast answer here. What may happen to one woman may never occur for another. It would probably be best for each of us to wait and see what our personal experience is, and then figure it out from there. :D


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,Ickle Dorritt
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 05:22 PM

I tell you what -you lot keep worrying about your voices -I'll worry about my sex life. Ickle (still hanging in at 45)


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,Ickle dorritt
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 05:19 PM


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: balladeer
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 04:55 PM

Ferrara, decrease in "female" hormones, increase in "male."


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Alice
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:10 AM

Before we reach menopause, we women are all premenopausal. The stage is called "perimenopause" when we begin to lose the estrogen production connected to ovulation. I haven't noticed any changes to the range of my voice. I really believe range is more affected by how you use and take care of your voice, but each person's experience is unique. I, too, notice that I've grown more of a backbone, figuratively, and have more courage to stand up for myself and my opinions.

Mr. Red, your comment of "irrationality (more than the norm) is another symptom," shows just how much women are still labeled with prejudicial and false stereotypes. Being irrational has nothing to do with gender, but it is a stereotype of women that has been perpetuated for a very long time, continues to be stated, joked about, or believed without question, regardless of the facts. I have known just as many men to be irrational as I've known women to be.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Ferrara
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 09:56 AM

Well, I'm 59 now, had a late menopause, but it's hard to separate the effects of menopause from the effects of the transplant drugs, which include prednisone.

My voice has been better since the transplant, and it's getting stronger, clearer and warmer every year. My range is not any lower, in fact I'm reaching high and low notes more easily. But one of my meds does in fact thicken the vocal chords.

It's hard to pinpoint when menopause began for me. The labs were contradictory. But I've been definitely menopausal for at least the last two years; my voice just keeps getting better.

LLanfair, thanks for mentioning the fact that a full bladder makes it worse. I agree. I talked this over with my doctor. Being a man, he didn't mention menopause at all, but he told me I was experiencing "cholinergic" symptoms. They include a sharp feeling of heat throughout the body, as well as a crazy "antsy-ness". Stress of any kind can cause cholinergic symptoms, he said. They're sometimes related to hives. So, like most everybody else here, I'd say to keep yourself hydrated; in addition, as soon as you start feeling you have to go to the bathroom, do so if it's practical. Don't wait, it makes everything worse. Very strange but true.

Has anyone heard anything about WHY menopause would affect a woman's voice? What is the mechanism?


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Robin2
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 10:37 PM

gee, ladies, this subject is great to read!
I woke up one morning(really) and discovered I was a baritone! But I like my voice better, before it seemed thin, now I seem to be able to sing with more power (but with a more limited range).
I finally looked up "menopause symptoms" on the 'net, (i'm 47), and realized a lot of what's going on with me is pre-menopausal stuff. I feel relieved to be reaching this stage of my life, and I appreciate hearing from other catters that are going through it!
Robin


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Shall
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 11:20 AM

Thank you for the impute fellow Mudcatters. I will take more notice of when my wonderful occurance drop in. I have noticed that smoking a fag/Cig. encourages the heat up. Soooooo.... I am cutting back, with a goal to quit smoking. It is tough when the entire band lights up. But I know in the long run I'll be far better off. I tried the soy suppliment...no noticable relief. I also have to watch the estrogen intake due to breast cancer issues.I am trying to drink more water, flushing out the impurities, or maybe becoming a "hot spring", rent myself out as a spa! I like tomatoes but have found that I have to be careful, seems eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes make my joints ache...nightshades I do beleive. The boiling bag line was perfect! Be there, done that. Cotton is the fabric of choice, well next to no clothing at all. I told my husband I am in training to be a nudie. Cool and calm (hah) in West Virginia....Shar


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 09:25 AM

Soy Sauce contains phyto oestrogens (spelling?) so do tomatoes.
I never saw a serious study that demonstrated that the phyto variety had similar effects.
The woman I tried to help was so negative - especially during episodes (and phases thereof) of HRT I never got to see if soy and soya were any use.
HRT is another minefield, on some people it works wonders, on some you have to try three formulations, some people give-up on it - especially negative people.
I have seen the same conflicting reports on the male version of HRT
good luck


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Llanfair
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM

Shall, this, too, will pass! I moved the bed to the window, and invested in a fan, a big one. The dripping face is a phenomenon no-one talks about, and the sweat comes from UNDER the eyes, so sweatbands are useless!!
When the flushes (that's what we call them in the UK, though yours is much more expressive) begin, they seem to start just above my elbows, and radiate from there. They aren't so bad now.
I never wear polyester, or any non-natural fibres, and nylon raincoats are a no-no....I discovered the true meaning of Boil-in-the-Bag wearing one of those!!!!!!
Oh, one last thing, the flushes occur more when the bladder is full. I have no idea why.
Cheers, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Shall
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 03:00 PM

It is so good to read feed back about the NORMAL funtion in an older womans life. Menopause is not a disease. I have to be honest at 51 years old.....it is a hot time in the city, my body is hot and sweaty. The heat slowly creeps up on me and then hits me with a firebolt, lasting until my hair is soaking wet. Yuck. My band partners (all men) and friends have noticed the big drips of sweat dropping off my nose on to the fiddle. The question of the day seems to be not what tune we are going to do but "Hey Shar, are you okay? Your face is really red.You look damn hot!" I am holding on for dear life. Don't dare drink beer and wine, adding fuel to the fire. My poor hubby of 32 years is roaming around the house late at night looking for me, I am trying to find a cool dry place to bed down, NAKED. I have waited all these years to expereince the true "HOT FLASH". I Just finished reading a very interesting book by John R. Lee, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins. "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause.The breakthrough book on NATURAL PROGESTERONE." VErrrrrry intersting. I checked out the health food store and found Pro-Gest body creme, on special, a Twin pack of 2oz tubes for $39.00. The company's name is "Emerita", the name is derived from the Latin, meaning "A woman who has achieved a place of honor". I am going to check out their web site: www.transitionsforhealth.com. Shar


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Fortunato
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM

Here's something interesting on this topic:
Soy product intake and hot flashes in Japanese women: results from a community-based prospective study.
Nagata C, Takatsuka N, Kawakami N, Shimizu H.
Department of Public Health, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan.
The association between soy product intake and the occurrence of hot flashes was examined in a cohort of 1,106 female residents of Takayama, Gifu, JAPAN: The women were aged 35-54 years and premenopausal at their entry into the study in 1992. Diet, including intake of soy products and isoflavones, was assessed by means of a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire atstudy entry. A follow-up mail questionnaire asking about experiences of hot flashes was sent in 1998. During the 6 years of the study period, 101 women had new moderate or severe hot flashes according to the Kupperman test of menopausal distress. After data were controlled for age, total energy intake, and menopausal status, hot flashes were significantly inversely associated with consumption of soy products in terms of both total amount (highest tertile of soy product intake(g/day) vs. lowest: hazard ratio = 0.47; 95% confidence interval: 0.28, 0.79; p for trend = 0.005) and isoflavone intake (highest tertile of isoflavone intake (mg/day) vs. lowest: hazard ratio = 0.42; 95% confidence interval: 0.25, 0.72; p for trend = 0.002). These data suggest that consumption of soy products has a protective effect against hot flashes. PMID: 11296152 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
This from National Institutes of Health
PubMED:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 06:22 PM

Yep, heard of
along with other drynesses
50% of women have some menopausal symptoms, 30% prety bad
I have lived through 2 of the latter,
irrationality (more than the norm) is another symptom, and how do you reason with irrationality .... viz "OH you can't blame it on that!" kind of killer argument.
I usually counsel younger people to mug-up on the subject before it happens - especially men - they won't know what hit them otherwise. Or when.
I didn't.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: harriet
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 10:09 AM

I never had a problem, but then again, some people say I never had a voice to begin with.


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: Deni
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:12 AM

Lots of women there! Kidney stones,dry nasal passages. Lots to look forward too. But some of the men are sounding positively supportive. Good on you chaps, we'll support you if you get prostate troubles. Cheers all. some really good points.

Deni


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,moonwoman18@home.com
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 10:31 PM

I am a 58 year old woman who has been singing most of her life. The only thing different about my voice now is that I use it to say just about anything to anybody! Age is a wonderful gift, especially to inhibitions. I still sing regularly with two other women. We sing and play in a bar in Newport, RI, and have a great time. My voice is lower, but then, it always was low. We do bluegrass and old-timey music, with fiddle, guitar, and banjo. And yes, I do HRT and lots of tofu. Diana


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Subject: RE: Help: Menapause. Effect on the voice?
From: GUEST,b;t
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 09:21 PM

It's really wonderful to read postings from women about this subject--the Mudcat sometimes seems to be dominated by a male perspective and/or opinions--I'm turning 50 this year and began to have premenopausal symptoms when I was in my mid-40s, mostly due to stress. I haven't noticed any vocal problems or changes, except feeling more insecure about singing in public, which seems more related to having less time than premenopause. I think that my voice changes with how much loving care I invest in it, like everything else. When I don't sing very much, my voice sounds rusty; when I sing daily, warm-up with scales (I think there was a great thread on how to warmup vocally not too long ago), and stop being so damn self-critical, my voice sounds more relaxed. It wouldn't surprise me if menopause had an impact, although I think it would be based on both hormonal and emotional changes. A voice is the sound of the soul, and during menopause, one's soul goes through quite a transformation.

blt


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