Thanks for shining a light on the hormonal hell of menopause | Letters

Sandy Steele, Claire Walker and Claire Tregaskis respond to Rose George’s long read on the menopause

I feel deeply for Rose George, but what saddens me most about her essay (Long read, 16 August) is the amount of tarnish on the lens through which she (and any struggling menopausal woman) gets to look at what’s happening to her: it is heartbreaking to hear her muse in all seriousness that a post-menopausal woman is pointless in evolutionary terms; that the only acceptable place for menopause is in menopause jokes, and that getting out your fan in public makes people think of periods.

When menopausal women feel strong they can bat aside these assumptions, but from the depths of hormonal hell it’s not such an easy thing to do. So many of these unhelpful whisperings stem from the things we read in print and online while looking for support at a vulnerable time. I wish it were of more interest to the reading public to hear about women who have thrived during and after menopause. I don’t mean Rose George’s 84-year-old Twitter troll, who simply dismisses the nightmare of a difficult menopause. I mean women who have endured and been transformed, and are able to share their experience with those of us who are still flailing in the thick of it. Perhaps the Guardian could build on Rose George’s courageous discussion-opener by tracking some of them down?
Sandy Steele

• Rose George’s piece on how it feels to be in full menopause took my breath away. It’s a spectacularly well-written feature, made even more so by the effort involved in writing anything remotely coherent on what she describes as “a bad day”, an understatement of mammoth proportions. It’s time for the horror involved to be the subject of substantial research funding, as it undoubtedly would be if this hit most men at an age when they’re reaching the peak of their professions. Patting us on the head and saying “this too shall pass” is not enough. Thank you, Rose. Perhaps this should be required reading for all men, women and children so they have a better understanding of what’s happening to their close female friends, relatives or themselves.
Claire Walker
Bromley, London

• Please pass on my grateful thanks to Margaret Davis (Letters, 18 August) for her suggestion about wearing a thick bathrobe in bed to avoid the chills that normally follow a night sweat. I tried it last night, and it really works! As a result I got back to sleep far quicker than I normally would after waking with a flush. Thank you for making my night more bearable, Margaret.
Claire Tregaskis
Wadebridge, Cornwall

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