Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

Our Bodies Ourselves: Menopause cover

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

Publication Date: June 2006

Buy the book:

With a preface by Vivian Pinn, M.D., former director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” includes definitive information from the latest research and personal stories from a diverse group of women.

Topics include:

• Female sexual “dysfunction” at midlife – myth or reality?
• How do commercial interests affect treatments for menopause?
• Is hormone treatment safe? And who should take it?
• What do women need to know about heart disease and osteoporosis?
• Are “natural” or bioidentical hormones better than synthetic hormones?
• Can herbs help with hot flashes or insomnia?

Also included:

• Self-help and prevention strategies for managing the menopause transition.
• Complementary health practices and conventional medical treatments.
• The challenges for women who experience early or sudden menopause.
• How ageism, sexism and the medicalization of menopause affect women’s experiences.

What makes this book different:

• Reflects the expertise of dozens of women, including health care professionals and activists.
• Based on the best, most up-to-date scientific evidence.
• Independent of commercial pressures; OBOS does not take any money from pharmaceutical companies.
• Provides social, political and economic context for individual women’s experiences.


Praise for Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

Who’s afraid of menopause? Not the authors of this book, who offer practical health information and the wisdom of experience to help other women through this life transition.

– Kathleen Turner, actress

Our Bodies Ourselves has done it again! After raising us from girlhood to womanhood and never shying from “taboo” topics, our beloved guides to our own bodies are now here to lead us through menopause with this detailed, inclusive, and woman-centered book a must-read for every woman in her middle years.

– Helen Zia, former executive editor of Ms. Magazine and author of “Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People”

To the great good fortune of women entering the mid-life years, the legendary “Our Bodies, Ourselves” women have produced a book distilling the multiple complexities of our current understanding of that very normal transit in every womans life, the menopause. So much has been learned about menopause in the last 25 years – what a challenge it had to be to treat the subject in a comprehensive, comprehensible manner, which this book admirably does. The information is responsibly up to date, the explanations reader friendly, the advice coolly wise, the mood sympathetically upbeat. “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” is a worthy companion to the classic pathfinder book by the same organization.

– Isaac Schiff, MD, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital

Once again, the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective has provided us with a book all women can trust.

– Byllye Avery, founder of the National Black Women’s Health Project

I highly recommend this wonderful book to any woman navigating the changes of midlife. The mix of sound information, inspiring stories and insight into the social context of menopause is unique and invaluable. Any midlife woman can use it to find information and affirmation to make health decisions that are right for her.

– Karen Carlson, MD, Deputy Director of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Harvard Medical School

Enlightening, well-researched and candid, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” offers a complete range of medical and scientific information and advice plus wonderfully reassuring and inspiring personal anecdotes, photos, and sketches. If you’re a woman over 50, this is the book to keep on your bedside table.

– Nancy Thayer, author of “Hot Flash Club”

A first choice for women seeking trustworthy information about menopause. Sound medical information enhanced with personal experiences and insightful social commentary. Many thanks to the dedicated women of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective for once again advancing women’s health care!

– Margery Gass, MD, former president of the North American Menopause Society

“Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” is more than just another health reference book. Through accurate medical information and illustrative stories that value women’s lives, it gives women the power to be advocates for their own health and well-being. Not only are women able to become more informed consumers, they are inspired to become involved socially and politically in creating a better future for women’s health and health care.

– Mary Hayashi, founder of the National Asian Women’s Health Organization

“Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” allows us to enter this stage of our lives fully armed with the vital information we need to address any physical, mental, and spiritual challenges that arise. And it empowers us to make the change a true celebration!

– Jeanie Linders, writer/producer of “Menopause The Musical”

For those who want to navigate, understand, even celebrate menopause, this new book is an essential companion. Packed with words of wisdom for every woman, and with ideas about how to promote a healthy, non-medicalized, menopause, this is sure to be treasured and referred to as much as “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was when we were a bit younger.

– Abby Lippman, chair of the Canadian Women’s Health Network

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” taught me about my body 30 years ago. I used it to transform my relations with my doctors and become a fierce advocate for my rights and my life. Now I am a great-grandmother and Our Bodies Ourselves is providing a book on menopause, which could not be more timely! This is visionary work that lasts a lifetime.

– Loretta J. Ross, National Coordinator of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective

There’s so much bad information about menopause. Here finally is great information, coupled with a clear-headed guide around the myths, misinformation, and vested interests that have made information-seeking so difficult.

– Janine O’Leary Cobb, founder of A Friend Indeed and author of “Understanding Menopause”

“Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” is a must-read for women of all ages. It clearly and accurately presents valid, research-based findings for women to use to make truly informed decisions about the value of treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, as well as alternative/non-medical modalities. Whether you are a health care practitioner or a health care consumer, you will want this book in your library.

– Ann M. Voda, PhD, RN, past president of the North American Menopause Society and the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and author of  “Menopause Me and You: the Sound of Women Pausing”


Table of Contents

Introduction >

Approaching Menopause
1. Understanding Our Menopause Experiences
2. Making Health Care Decisions

A Transition and Its Challenges
3. What’s Happening in Our Bodies
4. Sudden and Early Menopause
5. Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances
6. Vulvovaginal Changes
7. Hormone Treatment

Changing Selves, Changing Relationships
8. Body Image
9. Sexuality
10. Family Life and the Workplace

Taking Care of Ourselves
11. Emotional Well-Being and Managing Stress
12. Eating Well
13. Staying Active

Health Concerns
14. Uterine and Bladder Health
15. Memory and Mood
16. Bone Health
17. Heart Health
18. Cancers
19. Other Health Concerns

Knowledge is Power
20. The Politics of Women’s Health
21. Finding Our Power, Organizing for Change