The meaning behind the menopause

At last,  a serious study into just what the menopause is, and what it isn’t.  Sue Brayne author of ‘Sex, Meaning and the Menopause‘, who presented her paper at the British Psychological Society Psychology of Women Section annual conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor in July has said that the menopause should not be seen as a medical problem that needs fixing but as a life-affirming and normal process that women go through, something that we at the Hysterectomy Association have long been advocating.

The menopause is a life-stage, in the same way that puberty is and ALL women, regardless of their culture, lifestyle or race, will go through if they live long enough.  In many cultures this period of life has been one to be celebrated, because it represents a transition from one stage to another that brings with it a whole different set of responsibilities.

According to Sue “Little consideration is given to the psychological, emotional, and spiritual changes women go through in this stage of life and no matter how science attempts to ‘cure’ the menopause, evolution cannot be stopped. When a woman reaches her fifties, she will undergo immense changes. She has to face the death of fertility, the loss of her youth, and to accept that she is no longer able to attract the attention she once did.”

The research that Sue conducted included interview with 60 women and was an in-depth analysis of the many changes that occurred in their lives at the time of their menopause. She considered changes in women’s sexuality and relationships as well as the way in which older people are viewed within our Society, which emphasises youth over wisdom.

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