Study Reveals Concerning Commercialization of Menopause: Women Urged to Seek Evidence-Based Solutions

by Ella

Sydney, Australia – A recent comprehensive study has shed light on the commercialization of menopause, revealing that Australian women may be driven to purchase unnecessary products to address its symptoms due to powerful commercial incentives. This study is a significant milestone in the understanding of menopause’s impact and the prevalence of misleading information in the media regarding its effects.


The report, released on Thursday, is the result of a collaboration between the Australasian Menopause Society, the Women’s Health Research Program at Monash University, and Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. It marks the first time that a large-scale, nationally representative survey of Australian women has been conducted to gather insights into their menopause experiences.


The findings of the study indicate that while women’s experiences of the severity of menopause symptoms are consistent with medical literature, the proportion of Australian women missing work or taking leave due to these symptoms is lower than previously estimated. This discrepancy raises concerns about the commercial exploitation of menopause-related issues.


The report highlights that while some women do require therapeutic interventions to manage menopausal symptoms effectively, the media and public discourse often emphasize the severity and frequency of these symptoms without strong evidence to support such claims.


The study specifically points to an example of a widely reported study indicating that “nearly one million” women in the UK had left their jobs due to a lack of employer support for menopause symptoms. However, the report reveals that this study was flawed, as it relied on data from a non-representative sample of women that was then extrapolated to the entire UK population. Furthermore, the study did not differentiate between reasons for leaving the workforce, including pregnancy and fertility issues, and menopause symptoms.

The report urges caution in how menopause is portrayed in public discussions and advertisements, emphasizing the potential negative consequences of exaggerating the challenges women face during this life stage.

Dr. Sarah White, CEO of Jean Hailes, stated, “What’s been really increasing is discussion about women affected by menopause symptoms that makes them leave or lose their jobs, or which cause great problems with their relationships or their mental and emotional wellbeing.” Dr. White also highlighted the lack of prior research that took a random sample of women from across Australia to gain a nationally representative perspective.

The report’s findings indicate that 8.7% of Australian women have reached menopause due to surgery or treatment, while 34% have reached menopause naturally. It underscores that for women aged 18-44 who experienced bothersome menopausal symptoms, 5% found it challenging to perform daily activities, and 3% missed work or study. For midlife women aged 45 to 64, 26% faced challenges in daily activities, 21% in work or study, and 15% in exercise due to bothersome symptoms. However, fewer than 10% of Australian midlife women missed work or study due to menopause.

The report concludes by emphasizing the critical need for well-conducted research and public reporting of data. It warns of the commercial incentives to create a ‘menopause problem’ and promote goods and services as solutions, as the global menopause market is estimated to be worth more than US$24.4 billion by 2030.

The study’s recommendation is clear: women should consult their general practitioners for evidence-based information and turn to reputable sources, such as the Australasian Menopause Society and Jean Hailes, for reliable online information.

Dr. Elizabeth Deveny, CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, expressed concern about the increasing influence of commercial players in the health industry. She emphasized the need for governments to invest in health care and health literacy to ensure that women receive accurate information and do not resort to potentially ineffective or unsafe products in search of relief.


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