18 January 2018
Discussion of the menopause tends be negative. Take the video introduction to “menopause week” held this week on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Sheffield.
The well-meaning presenters talk of “distress”, the impact, the “troubling” changes, and “how to get through it”. Of course the aim is to support and educate, and it’s important to acknowledge the seriousness of some women’s problems.
However, there’s arguably a risk that an overly negative tone perpetuates beliefs and stereotypes that may foster unjustified dread about the menopause.
In fact, according to a recent study in the Journal of PsychoSomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, involving nearly 400 women aged between 40 and 60, overall women have a positive view of the menopause.
What’s more, women who’ve gone through the menopause have a more positive take on it than those who’ve yet to start or who are in the middle of it. “In other words,” write Lydia Brown at the University of Melbourne and her colleagues, “for most women the menopausal transition may turn out to be not as bad as they think”.
Read more on our Research Digest blog.