Stop making the menopause into a brand! It's about healthcare, not money

Asia's Tech News Daily

The menopause used to be the condition that dare not speak its name, the domain of elderly aunts whispering about “the change”. Now it’s impossible to escape the topic. A slew of celebrities from Davina McCall to Meg Mathews can’t stop talking about hot flushes, brain fog and vaginal atrophy and on Monday it is World Menopause Day.

The cause even got royal backing recently, with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, patron of the charity Wellbeing of Women, talking about the fate of menopausal women in the workplace. “We are fabulous in our 40s and even more fabulous in our 50s, 60s and 70s,” she said. “We shouldn’t be made to slope off into the shadows.” Quite.

The statistics are stark: 900,000 women are said to have quit their jobs because of menopausal symptoms, according to the Menopause Charity, with 80% reporting hot flushes and 60% brain fog. A TUC survey of 4,000 women found that the menopause affected the working lives of 85% of respondents.

There is also something of a menopause gold rush under way. A host of brands have launched menopause creams, cookware and even menopause-appropriate clothing. Maybe I’m a curmudgeon, but I can’t help wondering how much of this is truly helpful and how much is marketing spin.

Of course, it is good that menopause policies are becoming a corporate must, but, as Jenny Haskey, chair of the Menopause Charity, says: “It is not enough for companies just to have a menopause policy which sits in a file. We need proper conversations and a change in the culture.

“Most importantly, women need to be speaking to their doctors through perimenopause and menopause as hormones fluctuate, and have regular check-ups. They need to know what the medical options are for their symptoms, whether that is HRT, or certain medicines that help with hot flushes, or vaginal oestrogen. And, of course, doctors need to have the information that women need.

“It is striking that 15,000 doctors, nurses and trainee GPs have taken up the free FourteenFish Confidence in Menopause course since the charity launched it in May – to compensate for the lack of this material in existing medical training.”

A survey conducted last week by Noon, the platform I founded for women in midlife, with supplement brand Lyma, found 85% of women wanted more and better information about menopause (we’ve just published our six-part guide, The Feelgood Menopause, written by health journalist Jo Waters) and 65% said they were confused, particularly about the safety of HRT.

But while there is no doubt that an overhaul of available treatments is needed (the cross-party backed menopause (support and services) bill will receive its second reading later this month, in the hope of making HRT free of NHS charges in England (as it is in Scotland and Wales), I do want to sound a note of caution.

I have spent the last year in conversation with midlife women and while they all want access to reliable information and knowledgeable doctors, they are also clear that they do not want to be defined by their biology.

Certainly, as a young woman, I didn’t want to be defined by whether or not I was having my period. I was often enraged when I was accused of being pre-menstrual (code for moody). Let’s not forget that for millennia women were excluded from education on the grounds that their brains were inferior because of their pesky wombs and hormones.

Menopause is a natural phase of life for which women need the correct information and medical attention. At 50, I really don’t want to be defined as a hysterical collection of brain fog and sweatiness, disabled from doing my job by my pesky hormones. And I don’t want employers to be put off (any more than they are by ageism already) from hiring older women.

I am not alone in this view. Another Noon survey, conducted with Vision Express last month, found that 67% of midlife women did not want to be seen as a walking hot flush.

My immersion in the lives of these women has made me realise that the midlife pivot is not just about hormones. Research from the Centre for Midlife in America finds that unhappiness peaks at the age of 47 because it is when we are hit with a tsunami of issues: divorce, bereavement, empty nests, elderly parents, our own health problems and redundancy.

There is also that creeping sense as we hit 50 that there is less life still to come than has already passed and we need to make the years left count. Many of the women I have spoken to are keen to stress that this time in their lives is not just about menopause.

The stories we hear at Noon are about women wanting a new challenge, a legacy, some purpose. Many are going back to university as mature students, “finally doing something for me”, as one of them put it to me last week. Others are going back to pursue dreams they had when they were younger – one woman became a standup comedian at 60, while another who was told at school her options were to be a teacher, a secretary or a hairdresser (and opted for the last) published her first novel in her 50s. Some have left the corporate world and are becoming consultants or founding their own businesses.

Noon’s #SeeYourselfDifferently campaign features seven women in midlife who are starting a new chapter and love the lives they are leading. One of the women is the radio and TV presenter Jo Whiley, who said: “There’s a joy and liberation that comes with age. It makes complete sense to me to embrace your midlife years – you have more knowledge, wisdom and experience.”

Another woman, Rachel Peru, became a curve/lingerie model at 50 (she had always wanted to be an actress). Victoria Whitford left her career as a diplomat at 46 and retrained to be a GP, which had been her childhood dream.

I am all in favour of the menopause coming out of the shadows. Unlike childbirth, or breastfeeding, menopause is something that all women go through. For too long women’s health issues have been the poor relation, under-funded, under-researched. I welcome the spotlight on, for instance, the re-evaluations of HRT. The latest studies show only minimal risks attached to taking it and, for many women, it is a lifesaver.

Kate Muir, producer of Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and the Menopause on Channel 4 and author of a forthcoming book called Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause, said: “Talking to menopause experts and women themselves, I’ve found the main problem at work is not just hot flushes but the combination of anxiety, loss of confidence and fatigue. Brain fog is a key worry for high-powered women.

Related: Vagina lasering for postmenopausal women ‘may be placebo’

“Hormonal anxiety and brain fog is not being treated properly, with one survey from Newson Health showing that 66% of women complaining of low mood in menopause were being offered antidepressants rather than HRT, which is much more likely to help. I had comically low levels of progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone . They were so low my brain just wasn’t working properly. Once I got put on the right cocktail of hormones, it started to fire on all cylinders again”.

For eons, in the eyes of men, women stopped being valuable when they were no longer fecund or fanciable – it is why, too often, older women are erased from the cultural narrative and become invisible because the male lens doesn’t want to look at them. We need to fix the menopause so we can get on with having a rich second half of our lives. We don’t want the “pinkification” gold rush to put women back in that old “hysterical” box.

I don’t want a menopause-branded cooking pot, or menopause-friendly clothing – I just want to get on with feeling good in my skin and living the life I love.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Bangladesh police bust Pakistan-run fake Indian currency racket, Rs 73.5 million seized

© Provided by WION Acting on a tip-off, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) recovered fake Indian currency notes (FICN) valued at Rs 73.5 million from a house in Dhaka on Saturday. ... Read more »

News updates from HT: PM Modi pays tribute to armed forces on Mann Ki Baat and all the latest news

© Provided by Hindustan Times Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo) Here are today-’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from ... Read more »

23 arrested in connection with UPTET 2021 paper leak: Report

© Provided by Hindustan Times UPTET 2021 will be conducted again within a month, UP basic education minister Satish Chandra Dwivedi said.  (HT Photo) At least 23 people have been ... Read more »

Lockdown-like restrictions in Maharashtra? CM Uddhav Thackeray to take BIG decision as Omicron fears increase

© Provided by DNA Amid rising concerns over new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is set to hold a COVID-19 review meeting with all Divisional Commissioners and ... Read more »

18 Killed, 5 Injured as Vehicle Hits Truck in Bengal's Nadia District; CM Banerjee, Governor Offers Condolences

© Priyanka | India.com News Desk The people were on their way to the Nabadeep crematorium to cremate someone from Bagda of North 24 Parganas. I offer my deepest condolences ... Read more »

Golf-Chan's par putt clinches win in first Asian Tour event of 2021

(Reuters) – Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang rolled in a four-foot par putt on the final hole to win the $1 million Blue Canyon Phuket Championship on Sunday as the Asian Tour ... Read more »

Three players Ralf Rangnick could bring with him to Manchester United

Since it was announced that Ralf Rangnick would be taking over at Manchester United, there’s been a big focus on what he’ll do to improve the team. At the time ... Read more »

Behind Enemy Lines: Sevilla FC

© Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images Sevilla’s deeper squad The third season of Julen Lopetegui’s is going as strong as ever. They have finished comfortably in fourth place for two ... Read more »

Wisconsin's senators - a Democrat and a Republican - issue joint statement warning against politicizing the Waukesha tragedy

Community members mourn during a candle light vigil in Cutler Park after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 22, 2021.Cheney Orr/Reuters A man drove ... Read more »

Sens. Johnson, Baldwin condemn outside groups for trying to 'exploit' Waukesha tragedy

Wisconsin’s Democrat and Republican senators issued a joint statement Saturday warning of outside individuals or groups exploiting the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack for political gain and urged them not to ... Read more »

Ex-Trump adviser Steve Cortes is out of right-wing channel Newsmax for refusing to take vaccine, report says

Steve Cortes, the Newsmax host, is leaving the right-wing network after the organisation mandated Covid-19 vaccines for employees (Screengrab/YouTube/Fox Business) Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser Steve Cortes is reportedly leaving ... Read more »

Ravneet Gill's recipe for a Christmas baked alaska

A baked alaska feels really extravagant and full of effort. Truth is, though, it doesn’t have to be. A baked alaska is really adaptable to what you like, and can ... Read more »

Wisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes'

Both senators from Wisconsin issued a joint statement on Saturday urging those considering exploiting the past weekend's deadly parade attack “for their own political purposes” to “cease and desist.” “It ... Read more »

Alice Evans claims estranged husband Ioan Gruffudd 'bought 24 grams of cocaine while filming new TV show' in yet another Twitter attack... before deleting post

Evans, 53, confirmed her separation from the Welsh star in a series of furious tweets posted on Twitter in January Gruffudd, 48, publicly confirmed a new relationship with co-star Bianca Wallace, 29, on Instagram nine months after the split The mother of two has previously accused Ioan and Bianca of conducting a three year affair while they were married - which has been denied by a friend of the couple Evans has since documented every toxic turn in their ongoing divorce proceedings across social media She currently remains at the family home in Los Angeles with their two daughters, but admits she might be forced to move  Read more »

Storm Arwen: Snow and rain warning stays in place after three killed by falling trees

Three people have been killed by falling trees during Storm Arwen, the first named storm of the 2021-22 season. Snowfall in high parts of Great Britain saw some people trapped in pubs, with more precipitation expected today. Read more »

Dasvi to OMG – Oh My God! 2, Yami has a promising line-up for films in 2022

© Provided by Mid-Day Yami Gautam, who tied the knot with Uri: The Surgical Strike director Aditya Dhar earlier this year, celebrates her 33rd birthday today. Unlike 2021, the coming ... Read more »

Alia Bhatt, Soni Razdan's birthday posts for Shaheen will make you go aww. See here

As Alia Bhatt’s sister Shaheen Bhatt turned a year older, the actress showered love upon her in a sweet birthday note. Mother Soni Razdan, on the other hand, penned a ... Read more »

Prabhas and Pooja Hegde`s first look from Love Anthem out

© Provided by Mid-Day Prabhas` pan-India magnum opus today unveiled yet another stunning poster and announced the teaser launch of their first Hindi song tomorrow. Having created a lot of ... Read more »

Comedian Munawar Faruqui on shows getting cancelled repeatedly: I'm done, I think this is the end

© Provided by Pinkvilla Comedian Munawar Faruqui has made headlines ever since he was arrested by the Indore police in January 2021 for jokes that “he was going to crack” ... Read more »

Baby elephant's cute peekaboo will make your Sunday brighter. Viral video

Videos showcasing any baby animals are a treat for one’s eyes. Many times, after a tiresome day, you probably find yourself scrolling through your social media accounts, looking for a ... Read more »

Laverne Cox confirms she's got a boyfriend who she 'met on Tinder'

© IANS laverne cox. Los Angeles, Nov 28 (IANS) ‘Orange is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox has confirmed she has a boyfriend whom she “met on Tinder”, as she ... Read more »

GM Survey Asking Corvette C8 Owners About Electric Sports Car

Interesting? Yes. Sacrilege for purists? Absolutely. Like the Porsche 911, the Chevrolet Corvette crowd is a rabidly loyal, and purist, bunch. Something as trivial as changing the headlights are enough ... Read more »

French government 'ready' to discuss autonomy for aggrieved Guadeloupe

France is willing to discuss autonomy for the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe if it is in the interests of the people who live there, government minister Sebastien Lecornu has ... Read more »

Tory anger grows over Priti Patel's failure to start resettling stranded Afghans

Photograph: Bülent Kılıç/AFP/Getty Images MPs said to have confronted home secretary over ‘moral obligation’ to deliver refugee programme announced in August Priti Patel is facing growing criticism from Tory MPs ... Read more »

Natasha Faces Mzansi's Wrath Over R1 Million

It has been said before that going on MacG’s podcast never ends well for celebrities. Blood And Water actress Natasha Thahane is the latest ZAleb to prove this fact right. Remember ... Read more »

The trailblazing Irish athlete who's just become a world champion

Amy Wall recently became a world champion. SHE MAY not be a household name, but Amy Wall is one of the most successful Irish athletes competing on the international stage ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu message sent ahead of London return - 'We mustn't panic'

Emma Raducanu was like a “caged animal let loose” when she won the US Open after lockdown. But Annabel Croft claims the teenager must now be given time to learn ... Read more »

Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary election to boost president's clout

© Vladimir Voronin Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Zhaparov prepares to cast his ballot at a polling station in Bishkek during the parliamentary elections (Vladimir Voronin/AP) Voters in Kyrgyzstan were casting their ... Read more »

More than 1.53 lakh skip 2nd dose in Burdwan (E)

© Provided by The Statesman More than 1.53 lakh skip 2nd dose in Burdwan (E) As many as 1.53 lakh people in Burdwan East have skipped their Covid-19 second dose ... Read more »

Prayagraj Dalit Family Murder Case: Opposition Mounts Attack on Yogi Govt; 8 Accused Arrested, 2 Cops Suspended | Key Points

© Sharmita Kar | India.com News Desk UP Police (File Image) Prayagraj: The brutal murder of four members of a Dalit family in Gohri village of Prayagraj district has triggered ... Read more »

Video: Hugh Sheridan's ex-fiancé Kurt Roberts strips down to his underwear and dances with a shirtless male pal - after breaking his silence on split

Read more »

Video: Farmer's lamb shed destroyed by Storm Arwen

Britons were advised to travel only if absolutely necessary, with the Met Office describing the gusts overnight as "damaging". Read more »

Headless body falls out of cannibal's car after crash

Yegor Komarov and two other men were arrested after police discovered a decapitated body at the scene of a car crash they were involved in. Twitter A purported Russian cannibal ... Read more »

West Bengal Road Accident: 18 killed, 5 injured in car-truck collision in Nadia; CM Banerjee offers condolences

© Provided by Jagran English Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: At least 18 people lost their lives while five others were injured after a matador car collided with a truck ... Read more »

Mann ki Baat: PM Narendra Modi says he wants to serve India, hails Indian startups

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (November 28) hailed Indian startups saying we are leading the world in this field with more than ... Read more »

‘I'm not convinced' – Chris Wilder eyes Tottenham individual as first Middlesbrough window looms: The verdict

© Provided by Football League World Jack Clarke n This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the ... Read more »

Ind vs NZ, 1st Test Live Cricket Score: Jamieson removes Ashwin as India lose sixth wicket

© Provided by Firstpost Ind vs NZ, 1st Test Live Cricket Score: Jamieson removes Ashwin as India lose sixth wicket 13:19 (IST) After 48 overs,India 120/6 ( Shreyas Iyer 35 ... Read more »

Brendan Rodgers admits leaving Watford in 2009 was the wrong decision

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Brendan Rodgers hasn’t endured a lot of misfortune in his managerial career to date, but his decision to leave Watford for Reading back ... Read more »

Quiz: 30 questions about Hartlepool United's best strikers from the last 5 years – Can you score 30/30?

© Provided by Football League World FA Cup Second Round Replay – Hartlepool United v Exeter City Hartlepool United are making a good fist of their first season back in ... Read more »

2 Sheffield United dilemmas facing Paul Heckingbottom ahead of Bristol City match today

© Provided by Football League World Heckingbottom Sheffield United host Bristol City at Bramall Lane this afternoon, with Paul Heckingbottom looking to kickstart his tenure with a win.  Heckingbottom has ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic