The Menopause Industry: How the Medical Establishment Exploits Women

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9780897931618: The Menopause Industry: How the Medical Establishment Exploits Women
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Healthy women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s have become a commodity to be exploited for commercial gain. They are being targeted by pharmaceutical companies, medical manufacturers, and doctors with products and services to sell. They are asked to mistrust their own bodies and to rely instead on medical procedures and drugs.
Sadly, as menopause has grown into a money-making enterprise, the truth about what happens naturally during this time has been lost. Many women don't know who to believe or what to do. Should you have hormone replacement therapy? What are the side effects? What percentage of women actually develop osteoporosis or breast cancer? Do you really need cervical screening or a hysterectomy?
Coney destroys the myth that menopause is a disease with inevitable symptoms like depression, osteoporosis, and low sex drive. She explains what is really known about midlife health, explores the effect of society's negative views of aging, and examines the benefits and risks of common medical interventions like hormone replacement therapy, mammography, and cervical screening. After you read The Menopause Industry, you will be aware, informed, and able to make the right choices for you.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Coney (The Unfortunate Experiment, not reviewed) argues that although the medical profession presents menopause as a disease, it is a natural life passage that many women experience painlessly and some even welcome. Women's value has historically been tied to their ability to reproduce. Menopause, marking the end of a woman's childbearing years, is therefore more stigmatized than male midlife. Coney believes that doctors and drug manufacturers have exploited this social prejudice, and middle-aged women's attendant insecurities, by exaggerating both the menopausal ``symptoms'' (hot flashes, depression, etc.) and the curative powers of estrogen and by underselling the dangers of hormone treatments. In particular, she argues that general practitioners and pharmaceutical companies have blown the osteoporosis risk out of proportion while minimizing proven links between estrogen treatments and endometrial cancer. Coney's depictions of the sexism surrounding the hormone craze are well supported; she provides examples of ads with misogynist slogans, such as ``Menrium treats the menopausal symptoms that bother him the most,'' and doctors' descriptions of the physical unattractiveness of the postmenopausal female body. Unfortunately, though, Coney's prose is repetitive, often confusing, and polemical. She is so intent on exposing sexist medical ideologies that she often fails to supply statistics or hard facts where they are needed, sometimes assuming that if researchers are working from politically questionable premises, they couldn't possibly come to scientifically sound conclusions. She also has an irritating tendency to assume that women are uncritical dupes of the medical industry, declaring them ``naive'' and ``oblivious to the deeply sexist ideology underlying the options that are placed before [them].'' The book has a preface by Paula Doress-Worters, coauthor of The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, and a foreword by Barbara Seaman, cofounder of the National Women's Health Network. Seriously flawed, but adds a valuable perspective to a highly charged debate. (42 b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The drug-company-inspired campaign to remarket estrogen with a clean image has been stunningly successful. In the 1990s the reorienting of osteoporosis as a woman's disease is complete. It is now mandatory to include osteoporosis as a major "symptom" in any discussion of menopause. By convincing the public and the medical profession that osteoporosis is a "crippling" and "killing" disorder and estrogen the only cure, HRT has been imbued with a kind of saintliness. HRT offers salvation where otherwise there would be none, rescuing women from an unthinkable fate as deformed crones.

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9780140152494: The Menopause Industry

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ISBN 10:  0140152490 ISBN 13:  9780140152494
Publisher: Auckland, N.Z. : Penguin Books, ..., 1991
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