5 Books to Guide You Through Menopause
rē-educate – and empower – yourself on this once-taboo life transition.
As we continue to explore hormone imbalances and hormone deficiencies, we’ve rounded up a list of titles to expand your knowledge on topics surrounding perimenopause and menopause. Whether you’re currently experiencing symptoms related to these life stages or simply educating yourself on these once-taboo topics, this reading list contains a breadth of information to guide you or your loved ones through this phase, now or in the future.
All women will inevitably enter menopause at some point in time. But their journeys may differ greatly, thanks to the wide range of symptoms that can define this period, ranging from hot flashes and night sweats to insomnia and mood changes.
Here, author Maisie Hill, a women’s health practitioner and doula, aims to help women experiencing perimenopause or menopause understand what’s happening with their bodies. Through “Perimenopause Power,” Hill shares wisdom on coping with the symptoms associated with these life stages but also rē•spins menopause as a powerful and positive experience for women. Hill looks at menopause and its precursor from several angles, approaching them accessibly through a scientific lens while sharing tips to help guide women through the ever-fluctuating hormones that come with the territory.
“The Pause” by Lonnie Garfield Barbach
First published in 1993, back when menopause was a taboo topic, Lonnie Garfield Barbach’s book “The Pause” has been a staple in helping women navigate this life transition. In recent years, Barbach has reworked her original title to be more inclusive of new research on perimenopause and menopause, including new sections that cover what impact menopause has on the immune system, phytoestrogens — estrogen-like compounds that come from plants that can aid in reducing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes — and selective estrogen receptor modulators, which are hormone therapies that manage how estrogen works within the body.
Barbach explores the relationship between menopause, moods, and weight gain and dives into estrogen and hormone replacement therapy by breast cancer survivors to manage symptoms of menopause, such as bone density and hot flashes.
Journalist Jancee Dunn had been reporting on mental and physical health for more than two decades when she faced her health conundrum, marked by dry mouth, insomnia, and heavy periods. After multiple trips to various doctors, she learned that the “random” symptoms she was experiencing were tied to none other than perimenopause. Dunn channeled this discovery into “Hot and Bothered,” knowing if she was unprepared for the symptoms that came along with this change in her life, plenty of other women were likely to be in the same shoes.
This book includes interviews with experts that shed light on menopause and break down the common misconceptions associated with it, even today. Dunn takes a practical approach to a naturally occurring experience for women that is often treated like a secret and dives into a broad range of topics surrounding menopause, spanning hormonal and nonhormonal treatments, as well as ways to improve moods, mental clarity, sex, and sleep, tactics to address hot flashes, and more.
As a bestselling author, naturopathic doctor Lara Briden focuses on natural treatments for women’s health issues, including endometriosis, PCOS, and perimenopause. Her “Hormone Repair Manual” is a practical guide for women in their forties, fifties, and beyond. This title explains how women can navigate the transition into perimenopause and explores options for relieving the symptoms of this period of life through diet, hormone therapy, and supplements.
Combining research with real-life stories from patients, Briden sheds light on what is so different about this stage, how perimenopause can be the turning point for women’s health in the long-term, and the four phases of perimenopause. She also shares information on how women can speak to their doctors about hormone therapy such as natural progesterone; how to treat common symptoms including heavy periods, insomnia, migraines, and night sweats; and how to reduce the risk for health issues that are common after perimenopause and menopause including dementia, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
“Cracking the Menopause: While Keeping Yourself Together” by Mariella Frostrup and Alice Smellie
Several years before the release of “Cracking the Menopause: While Keeping Yourself Together,” British journalist and TV presenter Mariella Frostrup opened up about her personal experience with menopause in BBC1 documentary The Truth About Menopause. She also shared insights on the latest science surrounding menopause to discuss what it is and how to manage this life stage effectively.
Alongside fellow journalist Alice Smellie, Frostrup explores menopause through both a personal and scientific lens — with an added dose of humor — to act as an informative source for women. This book features real-life stories from women in various stages of their menopause journeys, offering candid conversations on a topic that affects all women sooner or later. Frostrup and Smellie deliver a powerful punch of knowledge combined with tips on symptom management starting with perimenopause onward, actively fighting misconceptions and myths to focus on what’s really happening.