Menopause is not a disease.Experts call for new narrative on this natural stage in women’s lives


However, Hickey and his co-authors argue that while effective treatments such as HRT are important for people with bothersome symptoms, “medication may increase women’s anxiety and apprehension about this natural life stage.”

They add: “The medicalization of menopause has the potential to reduce the broad midlife experience associated with this natural process to a narrower disease requiring treatment and tends to emphasize the negative effects of menopause.»

The four experts further noted that while “women with severe hot flashes and night sweats often benefit from menopause hormone therapy, most women see menopause as a natural process and are reluctant to take medication.”

Hickey told CNN, “The medicalization of menopause scares women and reduces their ability to deal with it as a normal life event. »

maintain a healthy and youthful appearance

Medical warnings about the use of HRT are not new. In Elizabeth Siegel Watkins’ book, Estrogen Elixir: A History of Hormone Replacement in America Professor of the history of health sciences charts the reasons for the increase in HRT trends and what to do about them.

Watkins’ book, published in 2007, explains that “[the medicalization of menopause] The dynamic interaction of scientists, drugmakers, and gynecologists in the production, marketing, and prescribing of estrogen began in the first decades of the 20th century. »

According to Watkins, estrogen was introduced to the United States in the 1940s and 1950s as a short-term treatment for menopausal symptoms after a half-century of research that began in the 1890s. Between 1960 and 1975, hormone therapy experienced a huge boom. Some reproductive endocrinologists redefine menopause as “estrogen deficiency.”

The approach to menopause treatment reveals not only where the science is, but where the culture is for middle-aged women. Watkins writes that Kost Shelton, E. UCLA clinical professor of medicine “advocates long-term hormone therapy as a solution to the plight of middle-aged women,” arguing that estrogen will not only “prevent bone loss” development of osteoporosis” [a condition where bones weaken, common during menopause]…but it also helps maintain a youthful appearance, a positive attitude, and a happy marriage. »

The book cites an article written by Shelton in 1954, in which he said that estrogen deficiency at menopause “is often accompanied by regression into the shell of a formerly attractive woman…she becomes insecure about herself. , in the most vulnerable years of her marriage. »

Language may have changed since Sheldon’s time, but the link between HRT and the desire to retain youth remains.

The authors of the BMJ review wrote: “The belief that aging can be slowed or reversed through hormone replacement therapy (HRT) persists and is reinforced by the media, medical literature, and messages aimed at women. »

Then and now, why do these associations persist? Hickey and his co-authors offer an answer: “Commercializing menopause is a profitable business.»

“For example, in the 1960s, it was suggested that all women should receive hormone therapy when they went through menopause,” Hickey told CNN. “However, for women, taking hormones to stay young, protect skin, have sex and Something else, as yet unproven, is a powerful drug driver. »

She added: “If you have a drug that should be taken by half the people, that’s a huge profit.”

Hickey and her co-authors advocate changing the narrative by emphasizing positive aspects such as amenorrhea, pregnancy, and contraception, and educating women on how to manage bothersome symptoms. They argue that promoting them “may allow women to cope with menopause more confidently”.

Stories surrounding menopause

Sunny Singh understands the power of stories. In 2019, the novelist and professor of creative writing and artistic inclusion at City University London wrote a twitter feedhas been widely shared. She shares her own experience with menopause (when you have symptoms before your period ends).
With great frankness and humor, Singh wrote “We vaguely hear about hot flashes, but this is my peri peri experience. My body decides it needs a hot shower, but overheats for the next hour. Tip: Rotate thumbs until I’m cool enough to wear Get some clothes on. Tip: Add an hour to your morning routine. »

She added: “The current discussion oscillates between ‘everything is natural’ (yes, so does death) and total pathology… We have to talk about menopause without overmedication. »

Singer said her mother shared her experience of menopause in her 30s, which had benefited her a lot, and said it needed to happen more. She told CNN: “Information about menopause is rarely shared. We need women of all races and all regions to talk about menopause. »

The BMJ’s analysis came to the same conclusion: “Normalizing female aging and celebrating the strength, beauty, and achievement of middle-aged women can change narratives and provide positive role models,” the authors wrote.

story of the week

A video of a man stepping on a woman’s head has shocked China. The video went viral on Chinese social media like wildfire, with shock and outrage reverberating around the world. By night, the attack, which occurred around 2:40 a.m. on Friday in the northern city of Tangshan, sparked a nationwide outcry, attracted hundreds of millions of views and dominated online discussions throughout the weekend.

Misbehaving Women: Yogmaya Neupane (1860-1941)

In July 1941, the alleged Nepalese feminist leader Yogmaya Neupane immersed in The choppy waters of the Arun River. Soon after, more than 60 of his followers also jumped to their deaths.
The alleged mass suicide that took place as Nepalese people cowered under Rana’s authoritarian regime was quickly dismissed history of nepaluntil the 1980s.Only recently have scholars interpreted the act as a protest against the ruler’s failure to comply with Neupane’s repeated demands King of France or good governance, where Hinduism systemic discrimination Abolish discrimination against women.
Neupane is the first known Nepalese woman jailed for political beliefs When she tried to set herself on fire in protest against the Rana regime. At a time when it was a crime for a widow to remarry, she was also married three times.
She also passed Raise awareness On “superstitious religious practices, caste system, child marriage, discrimination against women, corruption and unequal distribution of wealth”.
Michael Hutt, professor of Nepalese and Himalayan studies at the UK’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), said he wondered why Neupane “has not appeared in the standard history of Nepal for 60 years”. need more information about this icon. “My call to Nepalese historians and social scientists is to keep researching,” he said.
In 2016, the Nepalese government issued stamps Marking Her “recovery and recognition as an important historical figure, a champion of women’s rights”, but call continues to further study his life.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, here are some ways to help.

If you live in the United States and have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK) for free, confidential help. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For crisis assistance in Spanish, call 888-628-9454

TrevorLifeline is a suicide prevention counseling service for the LGBTQ community at 866-488-7386

Befrienders Worldwide connects users to the emotional support center closest to the world they live in.

In-depth analysis: Maternal mental health

Abused and abandoned, three women share their schizophrenia pregnancy stories – CNN

Pranaiya was a happy mom – then she started talking about wanting to disappear – CNN

When the mother suffers, the baby suffers.It’s time for the world to wake up, says maternal mental health experts – CNN

“I know enough totally patriarchal women who would do nasty things to other women. The men I know have worked their entire lives for women’s rights. Feminism is not biological, feminism is an ideology . »

Indian feminist writer Kamala Bassin

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