There are many excellent resources to help you understand menopause and the many changes it brings. Here are 5 excellent books to keep on your shelf that will educate, clarify, reassure and inspire you. Whether you want to explore the treatment options, re-kindle your love life or just feel less alone, these books will usher you into your third age with wisdom, confidence and humor.
The Boston Women's Health Collective has a reputation for excellence in educating women about their bodies and their lives. This menopause handbook (Touchstone, Simon and Schuster, 2006) is no exception. If you are going to choose one menopause resource to have next to your bedside, this is a great choice. With their usual plain language and candor, the experts of the collective help you understand what menopause means, and more importantly, what it means in your life. Experts in the field of women's health guide you, educate you and reassure you. Well written and thoroughly referenced, this is a perfect starting place for information about everything from hot flashes to the politics of women's health.
Author Christiane Northrup, MD, is a renowned expert on women's health and on menopause. If you have seen her on Oprah or other television shows, you know she walks her own walk. She is a doctor who never forgets that she is a woman, and offers us an authoritative tour through the menopause labyrinth. Her advice always sounds like it comes from someone who truly "gets it" about women's worries and concerns. She understands the relationship, emotional, spiritual and physical struggles of women as they navigate these unknown waters. If you are looking for a great subject for your women's book group, this will offer plenty of good health information as well as fodder for debating the best ways to take care of yourself as you age.
Gail Sheehy is a noted developmentalist whose bestseller Passages demonstrated that women's development doesn't necessarily follow the path that male researchers might predict. In Sex and the Seasoned Woman she gives permission to women to define their passions and pursue them, well, passionately. Although she discusses sexuality and sexual passion, she also opens the door to other passions. Whether you are looking for ways to re-open your sex life, or just energetically re-invent yourself, this book is a testament to making it up as you go. Through research as well as personal stories of midlife women, Sheehy demonstrates that midlife is the open door to what can be the most satisfying phase of your life.
If you are tired of reading about the struggle and turmoil of menopause, Magical Menopause (Infinite Ideas, Ltd, 2007) by Monica Troughton is a positive, hopeful toybox of wonderful ideas to transform angst into adventure. Troughton gives you 52 chances to change your perspective on menopause to one of playfulness and "can do." She explores treatment options, health tips and lifestyle boosters that will keep you thinking that maybe this whole menopause scene could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Really.
Dr. Gene Cohen knows a lot about getting older. As founder and director of the Center on Aging he has studied the process for his entire career. The result of all that study is summarized in this gem of a book, The Creative Age (Quill, 2001). Would it help you to know that even though your memory may be flagging a bit, your brain is developing in ways that make true wisdom possible? Far from the end of human development, this book explains the many ways that our lives deepen and become more meaningful as we age. Creativity becomes not only possible, but almost inevitable.