For a long time, nobody talked about menopause, and there is little evidence in the historical record of how women would have experienced this life stage in the past, if they even lived long enough to experience it. Using audio extracts from interviews with contemporary women as a starting point, Helen Foster explores the uncomfortable and sometimes violent history of menopause. By examining the historical record through these six themes, she uncovers the myths, taboos and concerns that still resonate with people's experiences of menopause today.
Discover the history, mythology and taboos around blood and menopause, and hear from some contemporary voices about their experiences of periods and the onset of menopause.
Mental health and emotional symptoms are common during menopause, but a long history of dismissing sufferers as 'hysterical women', at the mercy of their emotions has made it much harder to discuss these issues and to get support.
Heating up and drying out
Menopause doesn’t have to signify old age, but when your body feels like it’s letting you down, it’s hard not to believe that your useful life may be over.
Why do menopausal women feel invisible? Because nobody talks about menopause or because society doesn't value older women?
Many of the women persecuted as witches in the 16th-century “witch craze” were over 50 and exhibited signs of menopause. Helen Foster suggests that the stigma of the wicked witch still affects older women and how they deal with menopause.