Medicalization Of Menopause

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Medicalization of Women’s Bodies: Pregnancy, Birth, and Menopause
Pregnancy, birth, and menopause are some of the natural processes many women undergo in their lives. While medicalization of these experiences is beneficial for women’s emotional and physical wellbeing, unnecessary medical interventions can produce negative consequences, harming the mind and the body. Despite the tendency toward relying solely on medical professionals’ opinions, women’s experiences should be weighed equally or more. This will be illustrated by the three studies included in this paper.
When it comes to pregnancy and birth, it is almost conventional nowadays in North America for women to turn to their GP or ob/gyn for consultation and medical assistance. Yet the
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The diagnosis of menopause alleviates anxiousness and worrisome; in the meantime, medical professionals’ language and attitude can be invalidating. Hyde, Nee, Howlett, Drennan, and Butler (2010) concluded in their study on the experiences of menopausal women that, when women exhibited symptoms like hot flushes, they were relieved after seeking medical treatment. Having reassurance from medical professionals reduced the anxiety over the uncertainty of what they are going through, validating their symptoms as menopausal instead of “going loola” (Hyde et al, 2010, p. 809). In other cases, despite women’s awareness of their bodily changes, some medical professionals dismissed these accounts. The lack of medical acknowledgement of menopause had a negative impact on some of the participants, causing more distress. Two women in the study reported being told off by their general practitioners that they what they experienced was not menopause (Hyde et al, 2010). One of the participants commented on her GP, saying that “they [GP] go by books that are ancient and old” because the GP insisted that it was not menopause since she still had period (Hyde et al, 2010, p. 811). Furthermore, medical professionals and women approach menopause from two perspectives. The doctors operate from a biological and scientific point of view that is highly reliant on test result, while women focus more on their bodily changes and experiences (Hyde et al, 2010). Medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy eases the discomfort during menopause and improves women’s lives to an extent, yet one needs to be cautious of the limitations of rigid biomedicine because it might disregard women’s valid

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