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In praise of menopause. Part 1: the pros (seven!)

What a weird title! Who could be in favor of menopause? I am, now. It took me a few years to change my mind. I was very much against.

Why did I change my mind?

I first fought menopause, but eventually, I had no choice but to accept it.  I have now experienced it and recognize the many resources to counteract the “cons” while enjoying the pros. I also wish I hadn’t fought it in the first place.

In a civilization that celebrates youth, menopause is anathema. After menopause, women can no longer bear children, and they lose the attributes that make them sexually attractive to the males of the species.  But we are not in the caves anymore, and the rules have changed. Evolution may push us to look at ourselves as if we were still in the caves, but we are not, and we can change how we think and act.

I don’t relish the various infirmities that come with getting older, but I understand they are the price we pay for the privilege of continuing to live in the world. Progress in science and medicine allows us to deal with many problems, large and small. Among the resources, I must include my beloved Skin Actives, a company built with science and love by my whole family.

What are the pros of menopause?

1) At a time when our body has accumulated mutations throughout our bodies, with some of them allowing cancers to develop and grow, a decrease in circulating sexual hormones will slow down the appearance of hormone-responsive tumors.  For women, that’s a big deal because breast cancer is a nasty fact of life for too many of us.  After menopause, slow-growing breast cancers, which hormones would fire up, may stay small enough to be eliminated by our immune system.

2) Many women have disruptive periods, and with menopause comes relief from pain and emotional upheavals. The influence of hormonal fluctuations on our brain during the menstrual period causes havoc on mood.  We all know that.

3) During life, we have accumulated knowledge and made almost all the errors we could, and now we get to change our roles and become grandmothers and/or educators and/or mentors.

4) No need to wear stilettos. They wreak havoc on our bones, muscles, and ligaments, but they make the woman walk in a way that makes them more “attractive.” Who invented those? Is it Barbie’s fault?

5) In many ways, menopause makes us less visible. We are free to wear the clothes we want. We can even say what we want!

6) If we are lucky and have a stable financial situation, we may have fewer responsibilities and can choose some, like helping with our grandchildren. Grandchildren are a great bonus of getting older. If we don’t have “natural” grandchildren, we can choose from those kids around the family.

7) If you are from my generation, you may finally be free of the “prince charming” myth. We now know that no prince charming existed and that we managed pretty well without him.  Good for you!

Please read Part 2, where I tell you all the scientific achievements that make it easier to get older and pass menopause.