Should women be helped to embrace, rather than be made to fear, this natural life stage?
The gaslighting of women over menopause in recent years has left many terrified of what awaits them as they approach their transition through this entirely natural life stage.
More and more young women are expressing their fear of what the menopause might hold for them. Fueled by the way it’s portrayed in the media as a narrowly defined symptomatic condition or even disease state that leaves women at the mercy of uncontrollable changes in their body that they have no control over.
More so, a time which requires treatment with synthetic drugs for an indefinite period in order to continue to lead a meaningful life, despite any potential health risks posed by the medication.
This is classic “disease mongering” – a tactic used by Big Pharma to generate a demand by healthy people for highly profitable drugs. The disturbing phenomenon was described by Ray Moynihan and others in the BMJ some 20 years ago and continues unabated.
In the past, the topic of menopause was largely taboo, viewed somewhat paternalistically, as a “woman’s issue”, spoken of in hushed tones. Yet, incredibly this view is still echoed by a recent IPSOS survey, although conducted in the US, it explored attitudes towards menopause in 33 countries globally.
However, the advent of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has made menopause an increasingly ‘hot’ (pun intended) topic! Especially lucrative for the pharma industry as it’s a largely unavoidable life stage for women who live through their 40’s to 60’s. The HRT market is predicted to grow to $30 billion by 2028. However, those projections are based on the success of the campaign to medicalise menopause and instil fear into the hearts of younger women whilst positioning HRT as the only saviour to get you through. Ka-ching go the (electronic) cash registers!