This website, Natural-Menopause-Journey.com can help you understand yourself and your body’s natural changes during midlife.
Are you confused about natural menopause?
Are you worried about your changing body?
Are you depressed about growing older?
On this site you can:
Get clear explanations.
Get tips to stay healthy and relaxed.
Get inspired to develop to your full potential.
See beyond the negative hype for a healthy and empowered midlife journey!
Explore the meanings of natural menopause
Understanding natural menopause involves bringing together strands of knowledge and different perspectives.
Menopause is about biology. It’s about molecules, cell interactions and hormone secretions. But menopause is also about psychology, culture and society. Menopause is about a woman in her body. It's about a woman living in her community. And it's about a woman and her culture.
Your menopause is about you. It’s about how you've lived your life up until now and about how you want to live as you grow older.
Healing fractured knowledge
Healthy women nowadays can reasonably hope to live almost half their adult lives after natural menopause.
But it is still far too common for women in their fifties and beyond to feel marginalized, ignored and invisible.
In the past, women approaching midlife asked for advice from the older women in their social and family group: their mothers, aunts, grandmothers and friends. But during the last 50 years or so, our social groups and transmitted knowledge have become fragmented and dispersed.
For a variety of complex reasons, menopause has become taboo, pushed under the carpet and not discussed. And as women’s traditional networks have broken down, there has been a huge growth in medical interest in women's bodies.
Women's shared knowledge has been gradually replaced with medical knowledge, our mothers' wisdom giving way to information produced by the medico-pharmaceutical wagon train.
But now with the birth and growth of the internet, we have a new "virtual river bank" where we can hang out, listen to each others stories and chat. We now have a chance to re-seal the fractures in women's wisdom.
Women's wisdom and medical science - collision or coherence?
Rather than throwing out the proverbial baby, we have a wonderful opportunity: to pool the knowledge from these two distinct worlds: the world of women's wisdom with that of modern medical insights.
But here lies a problem, because sometimes these two worlds seem to contradict each other.
The shifting sands of these contraindications and uncertainties often confuse women and their doctors alike.
Making sense of it all
Midlife presents each woman with a mind body dance as her changing hormones and final menstrual period give way to her post-reproductive self. This is the biology of perimenopause and menopause.
The hormonal changes stand on a stage whose foundations and backdrop are formed by each woman's personal life experience.
As she moves through midlife, each woman has an opportunity to find her own path and create the lifestyle that best allows her to reach her full potential. The old word climacteric best refers to this life process of change, reassessment and adjustment.
Our use of language about midlife has become confused in modern times. The terms menopause and perimenopause frequently get used when climacteric is really meant.
But it’s not just about language confusion.
Our biology and our life experience are inseparably merged. Change one and the other changes too. Midlife with all its hormone and age changes is a unique and complex mind body experience.
No woman's menopause is the same as another's.
All our menopauses have one physiological change in common: our periods stop, we cease to ovulate, we are no longer naturally fertile and our hormone balance alters.
Apart from our common biology, everything else varies from woman to woman. From our individual genetic make-up to our personal life histories. From our psychology to our socio-cultural experience. Each of us is a world unto ourselves.
Women, nature and the meaning of natural
Natural menopause is usually a perfectly normal event in a woman's life*. It is part of a complex process that combines physical, psychological and emotional transitions - no wonder our mothers and grandmothers called it "The Change".
On this website, the term natural menopause means the most natural path for you. Natural menopause is the path that promotes the most harmony, causes the least disruption of your body’s complex balance and keeps you well, healthy, creative, and productive.
This may or may not mean seeking help from a physician - it is your decision what is right for you.
The voyage ahead - your life, your decisions
This website is here as a help and guide for your voyage. Take what you need and ignore what is not relevant to you.
And as you progress in your midlife journey, seek to become critical, aware and insightful in your decision making.
When you don't know, ask someone who might. When you are confused, seek clarification, and if it all seems just too overwhelming ...
Take heart: millions upon millions upon millions of women have trodden this path before you!
The world can be a better place if the wisdom of midlife and older women is more highly valued and influential.
The world needs you and your wisdom.
So gather up your resources, enjoy the journey and get ready to march out into the world with confidence!
Gloria Steinem, "Doing Sixty and Seventy" Elders Academy Press, 2006.
*Important note: For some women, menopause may be brought on early by surgery, disease or unusual physiology. For all women, but particularly the woman who experiences premature menopause, surgical or induced menopause, or any other kind of abnormal or unusual menopause, the decisions she makes will depend very much on her individual, personal profile and circumstances. This website is for information only and you should always seek advice from your physician.
Published April 2009. Last updated 5/9/2012
About this website
This website is written by a woman doctor and explores all aspects of women's midlife journey.
Here biological menopause is just one element in a whole woman transformation that is as complex as it is exciting.
Read more about the site...
A different view
"I'm beginnning to see that life after fifty or sixty is itself another country, as different as adolescence is from childhood, or as adulthood is from adolescence - and just as adventurous"
Gloria Steinem, 2006
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