In 2012 I spent some time in Australia with my boyfriend at the time. One evening the conversation shifted to a different topic than the usual ones; Having children and at what age. “Well, I can have them at any point in my life, so I do not have to worry about that.” my boyfriend stated without hesitation. At that point I came to realize something that before I had never even once thought about. Immediately I took my computer and started searching for the keywords female fertility and menopause age. What I found really scared me because at that very moment I started to understand what the term biological clock really meant and what consequences I could have to live with if I was not to be organized with my life plans. Yet, something else caught my attention even more. A lot of forums where filled with women speaking out about how miserable they felt once they had hit menopause. Every single one of them seemed to more or less describe the same kind of symptoms but in return there were only little solutions offered to them. And most of the time,at least one of them finished the discussion by saying that it just needed to be that way and that women had to accept it. I did not understand this dynamic at all so I began to ask my mothers female friends and other woman at menopause age questions about how they felt and what had changed in their lives after they hit menopause. To my very surprise a lot of them were terribly rude and tried to avoid the subject entirely. However, a few of them just repeated what I had already read on the net in a dozen forums. The majority of women just repeated set phrases such as: ‘Menopause is just how nature wanted it’, or , ‘You will get through it’.
A few months before what I had read in Australia I did not spend a single thought on Menopause. And suddenly I found myself in a bowl of anxiety about this restriction that had suddenly hit my life plans. Not only did I start worrying about not being able to have children later in life but I also feared to, at some point, feel the way all these women described it on the internet. Within a few days and weeks several more thoughts came up in my head at every single hour in the day. All of them more or less circled around menopause or could be somehow traced back to menopause. The questions I had put together carefully in my head reached from ‘what choices do women really have?’ to ‘are menopausal women discriminated?’ The latter came to me when doing further research on the status of menopausal women in society. It appeared to me that socially women at a certain age were very much discriminated, whether it was in the context of partnership and sexuality or even employment. Also, often the menopause phenomenon was used to portray women in a very certain way – old age, grumpy, spiteful, asexual, unattractive, clumsy, forgetful, hysterical and above all unhappy. Hence, what I was not able to grasp was why there was no attempt of a solution to this obvious drawback. Obviously the majority of women had a rather negative attitude to this particular time of their lives or in my case the prospect of being there at some point in the future. In addition, menopause appeared to be responsible for a great deal of health problems that were displayed on the internet and a lot of books that I read on the topic. Osteoporosis and breast cancer, only to name a few. Where was the medical approach to this? Then finally a thought came up in my head: ‘Perhaps Menopause was outdated and we did not need it in the 21th century’. On the same day I started researching how it could be made possible to prevent menopause. A very simple thought and yet it introduced me to Beth Rosenshein’s work for the first time. Beth’s book ‘Preventing Menopause’ addressed all my thoughts and questions concerning menopause and how to look at it. There was obviously a lack of medical research on the topic and a great deal of ignorance towards this delicate subject. Yet, above all there seemed to be a huge conflict of interest in this matter. Unfortunately, the type of interest that seemed most represented did not work in favour of women’s’ health but was rather concerned with finance and economy. This is why, in a way, the book also very much outraged me. Because after reading it I suddenly was able to comprehend and see a lot of things that before I was oblivious to. I could see through certain female behaviour and trace back social development to biological circumstances and how those affected women in the 21th century. But most of all I felt like offering help because there weren’t many options for women to receive proper treatment.