They propose to change the vision of menopause to avoid the stigmatization of women

Treating menopause as a hormone deficiency that requires treatment is inaccurate and fuels negative expectations that could be harmful to womenargue experts in TheBMJ, a medical journal published weekly in the UK.

Menopause is a natural event for half the population, but the experience varies considerably between women and in the same woman over time, writes Martha Hickey of the University of Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria, Australia and her colleagues. colleagues.

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While the women with severe hot flashes and night sweats women often benefit from menopausal hormone therapy, most women consider menopause to be a natural process and prefer not to take medication.

The authors see an urgent need for a narrative more realistic and balanced that actively challenges gender ageism. For example, qualitative studies show that women report positive and negative consequences of menopause. Positive results include the absence of menstruation, premenstrual symptoms, and the need for contraception.

Social and cultural factors on menopause

In societies where women are valued for their youth and fertility, menopause is synonymous with slope. The belief that aging can be delayed or reversed by hormone replacement therapy (HRT) persists and is reinforced by the media, medical literature, and information for women, often driven by marketing interests, they write.

Furthermore, medicalization with its narrow focus on symptoms leads women to expect the worst. This can directly affect how they experience menopause, as women with negative expectations are more likely to have troublesome symptoms. After menopause, women have more positive attitudes, “suggesting that socially mediated negative expectations do not always match the reality of women’s experiences,” the authors note.

Studies also suggest that most women feel unprepared for menopause and lack important knowledge about what to expect and how to optimize their health. “Along with limited public discussion, rudeness, and shame associated with aging women, this leads to shame and negative expectations about menopause”, they write.

As such, they call for efforts to increase public awareness and reduce stigma around menopause and aging to help improve women’s experience.

“Normalizing aging in women and celebrating the strength, beauty, and achievements of older women can change the narrative and provide positive role models,” they write.

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