Here's why we shouldn't joke about menopause

Everyone should know how to talk about this.

Women make up half the world’s population, and it’s no secret that females are the ones who give birth to babies, thereby continuing the human race. So why are we still so reluctant to talk about certain unavoidable parts of life that are essential to reproduction? 

Women have periods. Women go through menopause. These are facts of life that we all need to accept in order to have open and honest discussion about the negative effects these things have on us. 

When UK TV host Lorraine Kelly shared her experience with menopause, she was “stunned” by how people reacted. 

“There were so many women who identified with my experience but were hungry for information and advice, and lots of men who were desperate to know how they could understand and help to support their wives, partners, sisters and mums,” Kelly writes in an article for The Sun

Some women are lucky enough to sail relatively smoothly through menopause and come out the other side thinking that it’s no big del. Others can become listless, depressed, and even suicidal. 

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Kelly admits to feeling “as though all the joy had seeped out of my life, like air disappearing from a balloon”. 

“I felt guilty for feeling so low for what seemed like no apparent reason,” she writes, and says that this guilt made her want to pretend nothing was wrong so that others wouldn’t ask about it. 

For some reason, people continually shy away from the topic or even outright deny that they’ve been through menopause. Women will often joke that they’re “not that old”, as though ageing is something shocking and inhuman. 

“It doesn’t matter how rich, famous or happy you may appear to be on the surface, something like the menopause can cause havoc with your peace of mind, as well as having to cope with all the physical symptoms,” Kelly writes. 

If you are struggling with menopause or the after-effects of the change, take some time to consult your GP and talk about the matters. They deal with issues like this every day, and will likely be able to help you or point you in the direction of someone who can. 

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“No woman should have to suffer in silence when there’s so much help out there,” Kelly says. 

Have you been through menopause? Were you reluctant to talk about it?