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Experiencing Menopause in the UK: the interrelated Narratives of Normality, Distress and Transformation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
StatePublished - 2018


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.

    Research areas

  • menopause; women’s health; transformation; rite of passage; idiom of distress; in-depth interviews; qualitative research; UK


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