Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Searching for Good News about Menopause

April 26th, 2012 by Heather Dillaway

Lately I’m fed up with the kinds of articles and news items that cross my desk (or computer screen) about perimenopause and menopause. So much of the news on this midlife transition seems negative. I hear about the new treatments for (unbearable) hot flashes or a new movie saying how terrible menopause is (remember my blog entry on Hot Flash Havoc? That movie is still getting a ton of press for better or worse). The most neutral reports seem to be about lifestyle changes (exercise, diet, quitting smoking, etc.) women can make to lessen “problematic” symptoms.

So, I’m starting to wonder: Is there any purely good news about menopause? Any news that will make women feel good about their midlife transitions?

To answer my own question, I typed “good news about menopause” into google, bing, and yahoo search engines. Readers of this blog should try it themselves. Type it in and see what you get.

When I typed this phrase into different search engines, right away the same sorts of news articles described above popped up. There is “good news” for menopause “sufferers” who want to try out new medical treatments for menopausal symptoms (you too can lessen your hot flashes!), “good news” that menopausal women can reverse aging (read: aging is bad!), “good news” that perimenopausal women can change their diet, “good news” that women can take supplements that will make sex better after menopause, etc. In my opinion, most of these articles have a negative undertone – that menopause is something to be suffered and endured and disliked overall. While these articles might be offering solutions to make life better, the underlying message is still that this life stage sucks for women. There were few exceptions to this, but the exceptions are worth mentioning. For instance a blog about the wisdom and freedom that women can find at menopause did pop up, as did another “menopause goddess” blog that gave a much more positive spin to this midlife transition. I personally wish I had seen more items like the latter two. For me, most of the “good news” that popped up is not so good.

I think about the perimenopausal or menopausal women who might be looking for “good news” about their life stage and I wonder what they might be looking for. If you are perimenopausal or menopausal and you’re reading this, what “good news” are you looking for? And how do you feel about the “good news” you’re getting?

6 responses to “Searching for Good News about Menopause”

  1. Pamsc says:

    My mother said for the first time in her life her feet were warm in bed.

    I had very heavy periods in perimenopause (wish I had known earlier that a Mirena IUD would help) and was just trying to hang in there until they ended, so I was happy when they did. No more periods, no more birth control–it’s awfully convenient.

  2. HeatherD says:

    Well, having warm feet in bed for the first time could indeed be considered good news! And no more periods and no more birth control is definitely very good news for some women. I agree that all of these things could fall in the “good news” category. Thanks for sharing, Pamsc!

  3. Jill says:

    The good news about menopause is that women are becoming more informed about the long term effects of living
    without estrogen.
    The better news is doctors are being held to a higher
    standard of care when it comes to midlife women.

  4. HeatherD says:

    Okay, good point, Jill. Holding doctors accountable and being informed ourselves, you’re right that is very good news. I guess maybe a few of the articles I saw online could be considered “good news” in this respect. Good call.

  5. Laura Wershler says:

    I want good news about how menopause can unleash our creativity, wisdom and energy, all in service to new found interests, causes and activities. That’s what I want to learn and read about.

    On a completely different level, “good news” is the number of women who took Dr. Oz to task for a show he did on March 9 with two “medical experts”, an OBGYN and agynecological oncologist, who said women in their 40s and 50s should consider taking the birth control pill again to prevent ovarian cancer, that the benefits would absolutely outweigh the risks. The vast majority of comments made to the website about this episode confirmed what Jill says above, that women today know a lot about their own health, and about perimenopause and menopause, enough to push back at a few medical folks trying to sell them a product they don’t bloody well need or want, and that many believed would be bad for them, and they were not afraid to say so.

  6. HeatherD says:

    Sounds wonderful, Laura, and definitely good news to me.

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.