Increasing medicalisation of the menopause has left many women feeling unsure and unconfident about this stage of their lives. While doctors may be able to help with some of the more unpleasant symptoms, menopause is a transition rather than a medical condition. Just as menarche ushered in the childbearing years, so menopause heralds the passing of this era in a woman's life; in both cases, the same hormones are making their entry and exit. So why is this hormonal change regarded as a medical event? If drugs are not needed at menarche, why should they be needed at menopause? Is the discomfort that unbearable, and are there other ways to help? This book looks at the options - both what the doctor can offer, and other ways to cope. Topics include: how naturally produced hormones change during the menopause; is it a natural event or historic accident? do you need medical treatment; if so, for which symptoms? is HRT the best thing for you? menopause and your heart and circulation; reducing the risk of cancer; taking care of your bones and skin; sex during and after the menopause; making the most of the rest of your life.