Story: Women’s health

The menopause industry

The menopause industry

Women’s health activist Sandra Coney’s book The menopause industry: a guide to medicine’s ‘discovery’ of the mid-life woman was published in 1994. Arguing that menopause was a natural life event that many women managed comfortably, Coney was fiercely critical of medications sold on the basis of maintaining women’s attractiveness to men, and of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). She argued that HRT's role in preventing osteoporosis was exaggerated, and the increased risk of cancer was underplayed. Studies released in 2002 and 2007 confirmed a link between long-term (five years or more) and on-going use of HRT and increased rates of ovarian, breast and endometrial cancers.

Reproduced with the permission of Penguin Group (NZ)

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Sandra Coney, The menopause industry: a guide to medicine's 'discovery' of the mid-life woman. Auckland: Penguin Books, 1991.

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Women’s health - Health activism and controversies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 December 2021)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011