1.0 Introduction

{Read time: 1 minute}

The first rule of menopause school is, we don’t talk about menopause, unless we talk about menstrual health first.

Fiona Catchpowle, The Menopause School

Menstruation and menopause are often explained as isolated aspects of physiology. However, if viewed from an integrated perspective you can easily see the close relationship menstruation has with overall health and the connection between perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

The Challenge

Managing the misconceptions of what the typical menopause is, and isn’t, is probably the hardest task that lies ahead. Menopause is not a standalone time in a person’s life. Menopause is not a condition or process that sits in its own physiological bubble that may only affect a few. Menopause is not optional. Menstruation starts. Menstruation stops. Typically, over a 40-year time span.

Whilst the mechanics of menopause have not changed, the life we live has. How we facilitate the learning of its physiology to take into account life in the 21st century and the mechanism for delivering appropriate menopause care, needs to evolve.
The following lesson lays out the menstrual health timeline in a relevant and meaningful way.

[NB. Words matter – in everyday conversations about menstrual health and menopause the word word ‘typical’ is preferred over ‘natural’ or ‘normal’. At times the text in this training will use the word natural to reflect an occurrence ‘being of nature’, to highlight there has been no intervention. The word natural is also used in scientific terms.

In the menopause narrative saying that a type of menopause experience is natural suggests that it should be better than another kind. However, stinging nettles are natural and no one wants to roll around in them.

Saying a type of menopause is normal, suggests that other types of experience are abnormal.]

Lesson Content

1.0 Introduction (where you are now)

1.1 The Menstrual Health Timeline (class notes)

1.2 Video – showing the visual ways to explain The Menstrual Health Timeline