Review: The Menopause Manifesto by Dr. Jen Gunter


Title: The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts and Feminism

Author: Dr. Jen Gunter

Published: 25th May 2021, Citadel Press

Status: Read May 2021 courtesy Kensington Books/Netgalley


My Thoughts:


“I demand that the era of silence and shame about menopause yield to facts and feminism. I proclaim that we must stop viewing menopause as a disease, because that means being a woman is a disease and I reject that shoddily constructed hypothesis. I also declare that what the patriarchy thinks of menopause is irrelevant. Men do not get to define the value of women at any age.”

After 38 years of regular but long, heavy and painful periods (minus 4 successful pregnancies and three miscarriages), I’ve actually been looking forward to menopause in some ways. At 48, I have now been experiencing the symptoms of peri menopause for about 18 months, and while I expected some of the more well known effects such as hot flushes, insomnia and irregular bleeding, I now realise, thanks to Jen Gunter and The Menopause Manifesto, that the inexplicable joint pain I have been suffering may also be related.

For the uninformed, menopause occurs when there are no more follicles in the ovaries capable of ovulating, meaning there are no more eggs, and menstruation ceases. The average age when this happens is 50-52 years. However the transition to menopause (often referred to as peri menopause) can start several years earlier, and the length, and the severity of symptoms, may vary significantly from woman to woman. There are dozens of common symptoms and conditions associated with menopause from an increased risk of heart disease to a decrease in libido, but they don’t just occur in a vacuum – they may be influenced by general health, age and lifestyle factors. Gunter provides detailed but mostly accessible medical facts about the biological process of menopause, its medical ramifications, and a comprehensive guide to treatment options. Useful chapter summaries in point form are provided if you are inclined to skim the denser scientific material. Personal anecdotes and blunt observations from the author ensures the material is rarely dry.

The Menopause Manifesto not only delivers the science but also explores how menopause is perceived (primarily in America and similar cultures). Gunter includes discussion about patriarchal medicine’s tendency to dismiss or minimise the experience of menopause, the culture of shame attached to the transition, and the lack of education surrounding the process. The feminist slant of the book is unapologetic as Gunter encourages women to empower themselves with knowledge so as to better advocate for their own health.

The Menopause Manifesto is a comprehensive, practical resource for all in possession of female reproductive organs. I wish I had read something like this five years ago and strongly recommend that women aged from in their early forties consider educating themselves about menopause well in advance.


Available from Kensington Books

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
    May 28, 2021 @ 20:18:02

    A much needed book by the sounds of it. I think doctors also need to be better educated on menopause.



  2. Helen Murdoch
    May 30, 2021 @ 09:32:50

    I am so glad to hear this is a good book and I totally agree that women need to educate themselves and each other about menopause. I do talk to my younger friends about it so they might know what’s coming. At 77 my mother still has hot flashes and I think I am headed that way as well (at 55), but they don’t bother me too much.



  3. dianthaa
    May 30, 2021 @ 17:57:16

    This sounds like a great book! I’m still a way away from menopause so I can still hope that in the 20ish years till then women’s bodies won’t be such a baffling medical mysteries and we might actually get some ways to mitigate the worst of it.

    Liked by 1 person


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  5. Victoria Hamel
    May 31, 2021 @ 01:23:53

    I subscribe to Dr. Gunther’s email list. I was wondering how this book was, thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Brona's Books
    Jun 06, 2021 @ 10:30:59

    Like you I started noticing perimenopause symptoms around 45/46. Seven years later I have pretty much ticked off every single symptom on the list, including a (random) recent jump in my blood sugar levels. Like you, I’m looking forward to the end of it all.
    I was wondering about this book, but have already read quite a few, so wasn’t sure if I would do this too, but now I think I will.

    Liked by 1 person


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