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Rethinking the over medicalisation of menopause

Summarised by Centrist

Perceptions of menopause as a hormone deficiency has led to a ‘disease based’ model and the over-medicalisation of an ordinary life phase, argues a multinational team in The Lancet. 

A shift is needed towards an empowering approach, recognising menopause as a natural phase.

Myra Hunter, co-author, highlights the impact of attitudes on women’s experiences and says treating menopause as merely an endocrine deficiency may be harmful to women. 

The authors argue:  “Menopause does not herald the start of a period of decay and decline” and “can be negotiated successfully with access to evidence-based information as well as appropriate social and medical support.”

While hormone therapy has its place, Rachel Lankester of MenoClarity blames the media for instilling fear in women that medication is the only fix. Commercial interests, which frame menopause as a disease, overshadow evidence-based alternatives, perpetuating the medicalisation narrative. 

Gendered ageism also plays a role, with cultures valuing women’s age correlating to better menopausal experiences. 

“Menopause is a natural transition, like puberty, except our default position isn’t to medicate puberty,” she says. 

(Editor’s note: Activists opposed to radical gender ideology may disagree.)999

Ultimately, menopause is not a “fast track to ill health” she says. 

“We need more education and less fear mongering so we can be prepared, not scared.”

Read more over at Medscape UK

Image: Marco Verch

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