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The Menopausal Vocal Syndrome

2 min read

Do you know that hormonal changes in midlife can alter our voice? 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. The menopausal vocal syndrome, in particular, is characterized by lowered vocal intensity, vocal fatigue, a decreased range with loss of the high tones and a loss of vocal quality. 

Many of us fail to recognize the voice is a mechanical, physical, and athletic tool requiring support. This is particularly true for women- says Lori L. Sonnenberg, a speech-language pathologist and voice expert-. Voices change during the life span, many times coinciding with other biological and physical changes. These changes affect speech and singing. Medical care providers are not always familiar with these changes, and the voice is overlooked as a symptom of perimenopause and menopause. It is so important for women to know that their voices are resilient and strong. That they are not alone in the changes they are experiencing. And that help is available.

The book ‘Singing Through Change: Women’s Voices in Midlife, Menopause, and Beyond‘, written by Nancy Bos, Cate Frazier-Neely, and Joanne Bozeman, is an excellent place to start for an understanding of these possible changes and how to deal with them.

Voice is intimately linked with identity. When a woman’s voice is not functioning as expected, it can throw her life off balance – they write-. We encourage women to listen to their bodies and hear what their bodies are telling them through their symptoms. Until recently, voice changes from menopause and ageing have been almost unmentionable. If a woman talked about her challenges, especially if she was a professional singer, it could have meant decreased opportunities and even the end of her career. Most women have stayed silent, coping as best as they can, assuming that they have to deal with their baffling voice issues by themselves. But that is not the case. Millions of women around the world are on the same path, and we no longer need to walk that path alone. Working together gives us a better understanding of the vocal issues women might face and how to minimize them.

In order to help women to keep their voice strong all their life, Nancy Bos has gathered together talented and influential speakers from around the globe for the very first-ever summit of its kind: Celebrate Singing- For Women In Midlife And Beyond’. The 3-day conference, organised to support and celebrate World Voice Day, will start on the 16th of April and through a series of recorded and live workshops it aims to shape a more equal future for women singing through ageing and the menopausal journey.

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The event will feature voice professionals from the United States, the UK, Europe, and Australia, in the areas of vocal pedagogy, laryngology, speech-language pathology, vocal research, psychology, somatic education, yoga, naturopathy, and performance.

 Register Now

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