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Publication - Dr Isabel de Salis

    Experiencing Menopause in the UK

    the interrelated Narratives of Normality, Distress and Transformation


    Salis, Id, Owen-Smith, A, Donovan, J & Lawlor, D, 2018, ‘Experiencing Menopause in the UK: the interrelated Narratives of Normality, Distress and Transformation’. Journal of Women and Aging, vol 30.


    We investigated the experience and perspectives of menopause among 48 UK mothers through qualitative in-depth interviews. Interviews were analysed thematically then explored using social science theories.

    Three interdependent narratives emerged: menopause as a normal, biological process, distinct from self and social transitions; menopause as struggle, an ‘idiom of distress’ expressing upset, identity loss, shame and social upheaval; and menopause as transformative and liberating, arising from bio-psychic and relational changes. Some women followed a predictable ‘rite of passage’ trajectory with transformation emerging from distress, but not all: menopause arises from a complex interplay of personal predicament, somatic change and socio-cultural context.

    Full details in the University publications repository