When The Change was published in 1991, ‘menopause’ was a word of fear. Then, as now, expensive magazines advertised even more expensive anti-ageing preparations, none of which worked. Big pharma was pushing replacement hormones, but doctors were dragging their feet. Some women told horror stories of their experiences with replacement hormones; others called them lifesavers.
Nobody knew why some women went through this change of life without difficulty. What was working for them, when other women were tormented almost to madness?
It seemed that we were close to an answer to that question, but that was before large-scale studies revealed that the protective effects of hormone replacement had been vastly exaggerated; given the perceived increase in the risk of life-threatening disease, the studies had to be called off.
Now more than ever, amid the clamour of online chatrooms and promotions for a vast array of alternative therapies, the individual woman has to manage her passage through menopause for herself. In The Change, Germaine Greer provides a common-sense guide to a very interesting and important stage of women’s lives.
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