Cover Image: Cracking the Menopause

Cracking the Menopause

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Member Reviews

This is a very timely book, both personally and politically. And, as we know, the personal IS political.

The book opens with a history of how menopause has been understood or misunderstood over time. This was written in such an engaging style that I found myself by turns infuriated and amused. 

I very much enjoyed the way this book blended historic and current perspectives with personal experiences. It brought to life the idea that our experiences of menopause vary greatly, adding to the complexity and importance of this topic. 

Our world must improve our understanding and support for everyone affected by the menopause — directly or indirectly— which is, quite frankly, ALL of us! Onward!
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Cracking the Menopause by Mariella Frostrup was just brilliant just what I needed; as I am one of many thousands of women going through this. I found it very helpful throughout and very informative! 
Plus, a great read for men!!!
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This is an intelligent, well-researched and comprehensive book that will get you rethinking what the menopause it and what life looks like during and after it.  Starting with a fascinating account of how our views about the menopause have been formed over centuries (largely by men), we start to understand why there are so many preconceptions and misinformed views in society.  

But this is no dry thesis on the topic; with facts, analysis, humour and observation, Mariella Frostrup finds ways to relate to every woman's experience. She doesn't lecture us on what to do or provide checklists or plans, but instead gives us a combination of scientifically sound information and real life stories from a host of women so that we can make our own mind up about what might work for us.  One message that comes through loud and clear is that every woman's experience through menopause is unique.

More importantly, she challenges those misconceptions and repositions menopause as a stage of life with new possibilities that we should embrace with confidence and optimism.  We just need to convince the rest of society to rethink the menopause; menopause should be a celebration of ageing, life experience and the wisdom it brings, and a chance to support, respect and value women at this stage of their lives.

With thanks to NetGally.co.uk, the publisher and Mariella Frostrup and Alice Smelli for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Everyone should read this book: old and young – regardless of gender! It offers so much relevant, well-informed information which is presented in an accessible and, at times, entertaining manner, that any time spent reading this book will be extremely profitable.
So, I am a female of a certain age. I had suspected that I was entering menopausal but this book certainly confirmed it, in fact, I may be further through it than I suspected! For several years I have experienced occasional heart ‘flutters’ and a several case of words simply slipping from my brain and finding myself stuck on completing a sentence (much to my children’s annoyance!). It turns out, both are almost definitely symptoms of the menopause. The stultifying brain fog is not early onset of Alzheimer’s and it is likely that I am not about to suffer a heart attack. These symptoms are in fact – quite normal and to be anticipated in a woman of my age! 
The book contains many stories from women who have gone through the menopause at a wide variety of ages and the one thing that struck me is how individual it really is. Patsy Palmer’s experience really stuck a chord with me – though I am glad to report I have escaped the beard – so far!! The list of possible symptoms that the menopause might bring on is incredible, and the lack of recognition and diagnosis is, frankly, shockingly terrifying.
This book is well-researched: it addresses menopause through the ages; cultural differences to handling and experiencing it; the HRT scandal of earlier this century is discussed in detail; along with  numerous personal stories this books also looks at the most common symptoms and ways to treat them in depth. 
In short, buy this! Address the ignorance that surrounds the menopause. The truest line might just be ‘if men got the menopause, hot flushes would be graded, like storms or earthquakes.’ But this is not a book for females – everyone needs to know about the oldest, best-kept secret of humans!
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A comprehensive and enlightening look at menopause, the body changes, symptoms and all things affected by those symptoms., It isn’t a dry read and is nicely broken up by women’s descriptions of their experiences. 
My only criticism is that for women experiencing the sudden loss of hormones through surgical menopause, rather than natural menopause, there’s nothing to help you feel that you’re not alone in that rapid period of change instead a slow build up of menopausal symptoms. But that’s not unusual for the menopause books that I’ve come across. 
My thanks to NetGalley, publisher and Frostrup for a digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
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#CrackingTheMenopause is a fabulous book that I have recommended to all my friends. We're all reaching the stage of being peri-menopausal and are scrambling around for information. As with so many areas of healthcare, the focus on the male experience means key stages in women's lives are overlooked. This book attempts to redress the balance on the menopause and it's a welcome introduction to the issues.

From HRT to the workplace, Mariella Frostrup provides facts, statistics, advice and case studies to illustrate the reality of the menopause. There is no preaching - just lots of information so the reader can make their own informed decisions about a range of areas including treatment, exercise and diet. Everything is clearly referenced so you can read further on the sections that interest you. I was left armed with information and with a clear idea of actions I wanted to take.

Despite being crammed full of research, this is not a dry, medical tome. The tone is often light, snarky, funny - everything you would expect from the author. The topic is approached with heart and humour but there is also an awareness that charting the move from fertility to menopause is an emotional journey. Every aspect of this shift is treated sensitively. 

Whether you're looking for information, advice or are just greedy for more stories about how the menopause affected other women, I strongly recommend this book. 

Thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher for this review copy.
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My quest for inclusive information about the menopause continues. This book started well, as you might expect from a journalist Mariella Frostrup opens with a thorough and detailed description of what menopause actually is, including the difference between peri-menopause and post menopause, as well as detailing the hormones whet they do for us and how their changes affect us. It then began to lose its way a little and became much more of her own particular experience of the menopause and whilst that was helpful in understanding more about her particular issues insomnia, hot flushes and brain fog, there was less space for understanding the other numerous symptoms although some are mentioned, I would have welcomed an equally deep exploration of the full range of symptoms. 

In terms of finding what helped her, she is very much based in the medical model, there is an interesting and much needed defence of HRT, although again I would have liked some balance of the natural alternatives. I also disagree with her approach to the changes in her weight, where she said that diets don't work 'because women don't stick to them' as if women are the problem when there is vast evidence to show that diets don't work because they are designed to fail. Perhaps she could read The Body is not an apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, which would also help her with the changes in the way she is having sex. I know she is heterosexual, (she tells you enough times), that doesn't mean accepting a limited view of what is possible sexually. 

My other disagreement is her insistence in several places of equating gender with genitals, which was just unnecessary and hugely problematic. Off course she can write from her own perspective but when writing about others in this way it is exclusionary and off-putting. 

Overall I would say the beginning of this book is a helpful exploration of menopause but for details of the full range of symptoms and an inclusive way of managing them, I would suggest you look elsewhere, although our search for that may be continuing. 

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC
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So much information about menopause and of course the perimenopause.

I found this a helpful read. I enjoyed reading other people's experiences along with the explanations of what is happening to our bodies.

My conclusion is women's bodies are amazing.
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A fabulously informative book on a subject that is far too often brushed over or completely ignored. It felt great to read this and realise odd symptoms I've been experiencing are actually totally normal, and shared by thousands of others - perimenopause and menopause need to be spoken about, learned about, and Mariella Frostrup begins to tackle this in the book in a forthright and readable manner. Definitely one I'll dip into over the years to come!
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This book was perfectly timed for me as I started my first week on HRT after years of fighting to be heard. I started reading and felt the awe of realisation that I had found what I needed. I posted on social media about starting hrt and not one friend even liked my post no one wants to talk about menopause.
Cracking the Menopause showed me why the fascinating history of women health is eye opening and reveals where the stigma orginated sadly its still here and I believe every woman aged 40 needs to be given this book. Every woman deserves the gift of knowledge and information beautifully portrayed in an easy read format with real life case studies, real life people contribute their stories and I found I could identify with alot of these.
An amazing book which every woman needs, we need to break the taboo and but this book for a friend at Christmas. A genius about woman for women. The new woman's Bible for living life to the full
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An easy to read and informative book on the Menopause. A subject that is all too often not discussed and I’d still very under researched. Mariella Frostrup shares her experiences of the menopause.
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It’s time for us to start talking about the menopause. Cracking the Menopause, from straight-talking broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and health journalist Alice Smellie, has all the information you need, delivered with characteristic wry humour. 
Mariella shares her own journey through the menopause, along with the latest science, advice from leading experts and humorous illustrations – to provide an informative source of wisdom and enlightenment. 

Featuring case studies from women in every walk of life and all stages of their menopause journey, Cracking the Menopause opens up the conversation about an urgent topic that half the population will experience, but barely anyone is talking about. Designed to equip you with the knowledge to manage your symptoms from perimenopause onwards, this essential book separates the myths from the reality and offers expertise, hope and advice.

This book is essential reading for women of a certain age as well as considerate family members.
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Mariella Frostrup has done much over recent years to try and bust some myths around the perimenopause and the menopause. This book brings together what her quest (so far) has found. I thought it was an interesting and straightforward read, with Mariella's usual style and flair.

The book explains the potential symptoms of the peri-menopause but also the uniqueness of each person's experience. Mariella also focusses on the importance of seeking help to address the symptoms, including sometimes having to persuade GPs of the seriousness and also tackling head-on the damaging myths around HRT.

I suspect this book might work slightly better for those looking back and realising those things they experienced were in fact the menopause. I think those seeking to understand what the menopause might be like might well still be slightly mystified about what to expect. But that perhaps reflects more the medial world's lack of research and focus on this subject, which is one of the things this book is trying to tackle and is a helpful and informative stepping stone to opening up that conversation more.
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While there have been several books about the menopause recently this one feels very much about what it is like to experience the 'change' and is balanced in offering all the different types of help that's out there mixed with medical information and lived experiences.
Funny and informative and very open minded - which I really appreciated
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A good informative book, I found the historical facts of the menopause quite interesting, the things women have to endure past and present! 
This is a helpful and informative read not only for women but their partners too would find this helpful.
Thank you NetGalley
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I wish this book had been written 10 years ago. 

Packed full of volumes of information on both peri and menopauses, and the odd humorous anecdote, it should be read by everyone, (and that includes men) over 40. 

The style of writing is easy to follow and although there is a lot of scientific/medical information included you don't need a PHD to understand it. 

This book puts into perspective a lot of the confusion that women feel around menopause and plugs the hole of lack of information.

It is most certainly time for menopause women to reclaim their place in society and show everyone that it is  a new beginning and not a end. 

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for a free copy of this fab book in return for  an unbiased review,
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The menopause is different for everybody but you will find your experience reflected somewhere in this book. I could  hear Mariella’s voice, which is very familiar to me, as I read. I found the background history and past attitudes to the menopause interesting to read. Our book club which is mainly made up of women are keen to read and discuss this book but as you would expect the men, although willing, are slightly apprehensive. So looking forward to that discussion. Younger women think the menopause happens to those of us over fifty but it can happen to young women too, So no you are not going mad it’s the menopause read this book!
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A brilliant and insightful read into the menopause which, in my opinion, should be issued to every woman in their late 30’s so they can recognise the symptoms and get some help rather than suffer in silence or be fobbed off by a GP. Written in Mariella Frostrup’s distinctive voice, it’s like having a chat with a familiar female friend who has been there, got the t shirt and SURVIVED! I’m delighted that the menopause is at last being talked about openly and in a positive way…… highly recommended reading for both women and men.
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This was good and very informative, with maybe a little too much in the way of dates and factoids and statistics for me- it was all a little unexpected and occasionally overwhelming. It's sort of everything but the kitchen sink on menopause delivered in constant chatty monologue from the author. Maybe not exactly what I was looking for but I think I'll keep my copy around as a reference for the future.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Pan MacMillan for a copy of “ Cracking The Menopause “ for an honest review.

I found this book very interesting and informative. It’s good to see that a subject that, has in the past , been almost taboo to mention , can now be discussed and shared.
I’m happy to read that I’m not alone in some of my  experiences and symptoms . It’s also made me realise that I was most likely Peri Menopausal from a much earlier age than I’d realised, .
I think this would be a really good book to recommend for women of all ages , not just a “ certain “ age , and even their partners !
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