“There are particular times in people’s lives that are especially significant, but it’s the weight the individual gives them that makes them important. One landmark may be of consequence to one individual and not to another.” This statement by Dr William H Masters holds true for menopause and midlife.

The important question to ask yourself is…

What does menopause mean to me?

Your answer will depend on where you are and what’s happening in your life at the moment, what your past experiences have been and what sort of picture you have of the future.

Perhaps you see midlife as a sign of getting old or you may see it as an exciting new phase of your life – a time when you are free to develop your own interests. It may be that it doesn’t mean very much to you at all.

Your reaction to menopause may be influenced by other people’s expectations of you, particularly of those who are close to you. The stereotypical picture of a woman at menopause is often a very negative one.

It’s interesting to look at other cultures where menopause is regarded in a more positive way than in our own youth-oriented one. In these cultures, women often look forward to menopause as a time when they may then be given new privileges and freedom.

Menopause is still not widely discussed, although there is a lot more information around.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, Menopause – Make it easy, an up-to-date guide is an excellent source of information for any woman experiencing menopause. It details the physical changes that occur as well as the roller-coaster of emotions that affects menopausal women. The benefits and pitfalls of HRT are discussed in the light of the latest research, as is sex after menopause.

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