Menopause, menopause, menopause - it's in the news!

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NEWSFLASH - Menopause, menopause, menopause!

In the last three years we’ve noticed a huge increase in the coverage of the subject of menopause across newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. It seems that you can’t open a weekend supplement without menopause jumping of the page. No coincidence we suspect that as female journalists finding themselves having their own magical menopause moments they’re writing about a subject that they know resonates with some of their readers.

Celebrities are sharing too. Carol Vorderman, Zoe Ball and Andrea McLean are just some of the names that spring to mind and we think this is brilliant. Whilst none of us know these women, we can relate to them, as women of a similar age, going through the same things as us, thus normalising menopause.

A handful of articles over the last few weeks have caught our eye, covering a range of perspectives on menopause, some that we agree with, and some that we thought raised interesting questions.

A poignant article that we first saw in the New York Times earlier this summer, was published in the Guardian last month under the heading, “It feels impossible to beat’: how I was floored by the menopause,” which gave us a clear indication of the experience that we would be reading about. The writer, Rose George, addressed in a long and comprehensive article, the impact that her menopause is having on her day-to-day life as anxiety, depression, brain fog and loss of insomnia take hold. We posted a link to this piece on our Facebook Page, and it had one of our highest engagement rates so far. Whilst this wasn’t a scientific test, we think that it’s a small example to show that women are keen to find out about how much other women’s experiences chime with theirs. Is it better, worse or similar? Whatever the reason, women hit the link.

Remember the rule of 3 in children’s stories? Goldilocks’ 3 bowls of porridge, Aladdin and his 3 wishes, using the idea that three events are more effective than one. Dr Andrea Davies, an academic at Leicester University, used this rule and found herself the subject of many newspaper articles after making the recommendation that in order to make the subject of menopause more openly acknowledged in the workplace, men and women should use the word ‘menopause’, three times a day. This proposition certainly got the media’s attention and an inevitable Twitter backlash. We ran a poll on our Facebook group ‘Hot Flush Chill Zone’ asking women what they thought about this idea. In the main women thought that whilst they weren’t wildly keen on this in practice, the media coverage was positive in generating more discussion about menopause.

Could Janice Turner have had articles such these in mind when she wrote an article in The Times just a few days later under the heading, ‘Please stop banging on about the menopause’? Apparently, she’s sick of hearing women talk about menopause, having managed to get through her own hormonal havoc by keeping quiet and having a bit of banter with her mates over a bottle of wine. Janice is lucky to have friends who she feels comfortable talking about menopause with albeit with a bottle of wine to get the conversation started. But what about those women who can’t or won’t talk menopause for whatever reason, and who welcome hearing and reading about it. Having this subject in the public arena generates discussion and raises awareness, so please let’s not to put menopause ‘Jack’ back in the box.

Menopause is typically depicted as a time of doom and gloom, so it was great to read Marina Benjamin’s recent upbeat article in the Guardian calling for women to celebrate menopause. No, not with bunting, balloons and banners, but once symptoms subside, by embracing the idea that that there are lots of good things that can happen at this stage in life. Marina feels that there’s a surge in creative energy as women ‘multitask like dynamos from dawn to dusk’ into their sixties and beyond. It’s a message that certainly rings true with us.

As in all areas of life there’ll be different points of views being expressed but for us the message of menopause should be one that resonates with the women who’ll experience menopause, that’s most of us.

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