Browse/search for people

Publication - Professor Jenny Donovan

    Experiencing Menopause in the UK

    the interrelated Narratives of Normality, Distress and Transformation

    Citation

    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.

    Abstract

    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