03 Oct 2020

Must-read books about perimenopause and menopause

What are the essential books that can support you through perimenopause and menopause? We've rounded up our top recommended reads...

When I entered perimenopause at the age of 43 I was struck by the lack of information and support available to women. It became my driving force for creating The Latte Lounge (come and join our group on Facebook!).

Since then, it’s been fantastic to see more and more voices emerging to raise awareness of menopause and perimenopause. 

Here are my top recommended books to learn more about perimenopause and menopause.

For more support with menopause, take a look at our dedicated resource area which includes advice on treatment options, symptom information and a FREE downloadable symptom tracker:

perimenopause symptom checker

And, if you're looking for some extra support, why not come and join me in The Latte Lounge membership where I'll personally help you learn and understand what's happening to your body and mind during midlife so that you can get your symptoms under control and feel more like you again! You'll get monthly masterclasses with experts (on topics such as understanding HRT, how to get a better night's sleep, and how to manage lesser known menopause symptoms), how-to guides and resources and a super supportive private community too where you can ask any questions. Find out more and join me here.

Here's my recommended book list in no particular order!

Preparing for the perimenopause menopause

1. Preparing for the Perimenopause and Menopause - Dr Louise Newson

This is a fantastic, practical book on perimenopause and menopause from the expert on the topic - Dr Louise Newson aka The Menopause Doctor. Released in 2021, Dr Newson explains what is happening in your body as you approach perimenopause and identifies the main symptoms.

This is the second book from Dr Newson (find out about her first one below) and it also offers simple tips to help tackle and reduce discomfort through exercise, nutrition and lifestyle choices. To bring things to life, it also includes real-life case studies.

Dr Louise Newson is a GP and menopause specialist who is passionate about improving education about perimenopause and menopause among the public and health professionals. She is considered one of the UK's top experts on menopause and is the founder of the charity, The Menopause Charity.

Menopause all you need to know Dr Louise Newson books about menopause

2. Menopause: All you need to know in one concise manual - Dr Louise Newson

In this definitive guide to the menopause, Dr Louise Newson, uses the latest evidence and her own personal experience to cut through misinformation and take a straightforward look at the science.

This is Dr Newson's first book and a real classic - it's one book that will help inform and empower you to make your own choices as your body changes. Usefully, there’s also chapters to help you talk about the menopause with partners, families and even your employer. If you’re considering HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) there’s a helpful section that sets out the facts on the benefits and risks too.

Dr Newson has written a helpful guide to HRT for our website too. You can read it here.

cracking the menopause

3. Cracking the Menopause - While keeping yourself together - Mariella Frostrup and Alice Smellie

Cracking the Menopause is new for 2021 and written by straight-talking broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and award-winning health journalist Alice Smellie. It has all the information you need and takes a frank look at perimenopause and menopause. The book takes a look at the myths and the facts surrounding menopause. It is funny and entertaining but also looks at the hard facts and offers expertise, hope and advice on perimenopause and the menopause.

It's an excellent book and has had fabulous reviews - 'I inhaled this book, it's fantastic. Women of all ages need to read it.' – Claudia Winkleman

Watch my interview with Alice Smellie about her latest book 'Cracking the Menopause.'

The New Hot Meg Mathews books about menopause

4. The New Hot - Meg Matthews

Meg Matthews’ 2020 book on menopause is like the woman herself - honest, empowering and entertaining.

Covering everything from how to take control of symptoms, whether to HRT or not to HRT, through to how to eat to beat your hormones. It’s a no-holds-barred guide that’s informative but plenty of fun too. Full of Meg’s own experiences and insights plus lots of case studies and guides.

Watch my interview with Meg Mathews all about her book The New Hot on our YouTube channel.

Confessions of a menopausal woman andrea mcclean books about menopause

5. Confessions of a Menopausal Woman - Andrea Mclean

Andrea McLean was one of the first UK celebrities to begin to speak out about their own menopausal experiences. Although this book was only published in 2019; that's a testament to how far the conversation has now shifted in two short years that so many more high-profile women are now talking about this topic too.

Confessions of a Menopausal Woman is a brilliantly honest - and for its time, brave - view on menopause and midlife.

Part memoir and part self-help guide it’s the perfect reassuring and informative ‘manual’ we all need. 

Watch my interview with Andrea all about her later book 'This Girl is On Fire' on our YouTube channel.

Oestrogen Matters Dr Avrum Bluming books about menopause

6. Oestrogen Matters - Dr Avrum Bluming and Dr Carol Tavris 

This is the essential read for any woman contemplating Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It's the book that exposes the faulty science which linked HRT to breast cancer and led to scores of the medical profession abandoning it and women fearing it. Dr Avrum Bluming and Dr Tavris separate the fact from the fiction and set the record straight once and for all. I can't recommend this book highly enough if you're worried about taking HRT because of media reports that you've seen and read over the years. Ignore the media scaremongering and take a look at the science for yourself to help you make the right decision for you.

I interviewed Dr Avrum Bluming all about perimenopause, menopause and HRT on World Menopause Day 2020. Watch the highlights of his talk where he shares some of the key findings from his book. 

The M word Dr Philippa Kaye books about menopause

7. The M Word - Dr Philippa Kaye 

GP and journalist Dr Philippa Kaye, sets out a thorough and evidence-based overview of perimenopause and menopause. It’s a well-needed positive read, which shares lots of stories from real women to help reassure and support you. This is a one-stop guide that covers everything from understanding your symptoms to the impact on working, sex and relationships and which treatments really work.

Read more info about the M Word book.

Understanding menopause Kathy Abernathy books about menopause

8. The One-Stop Guide: Menopause - Kathy Abernethy

Written by an award winning Menopause Specialist Nurse, former Chair of the British Menopause Society and highly commended in the 2019 British Medical Association Book awards, this book offers clear and sensible information about recognising symptoms, getting help, treatment options and staying positive. the book aims to help those experiencing menopause as well as those who wish to understand and offer their support.

the good menopause guide liz earle books about menopause

9. The Good Menopause Guide - Liz Earle

Wellbeing expert Liz Earle takes a look at menopause through the lens of wellness in this positive manual to midlife. She provides guidance on how to balance your hormones and how a nourishing diet can boost energy. There’s plenty of information about how to take care of your skin, hair, nails and bone health, as well as your inner wellbeing with self-esteem tips. Nutritious recipes round off this practical and useable guide.

Liz shared her top tips for living well during midlife in this interview with The Latte Lounge.


Menopause conversations MBoldened books about menopause

10. M-Boldened: Menopause Conversations We All Need to Have - Various contributors - Edited by Caroline Harris

A different type of book on the recommended list now - this one seeks to open up important conversations about menopause from across the globe. Written and curated by General Editor Caroline Harris. The book covers a range of menopause perspectives; from harrowing experiences of surgical menopause and impacts on relationships and transitioning, to revealing shocking menopause neglect in the UK criminal justice system. There are contributions from voices around the world including New York, London and women living in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan; (where in some cases women’s health provision is so poor that there aren’t even words to enable the conversation). 

Menopause Monologues books about menopause

11. The Menopause Monologues I and II - compiled by Harriet Powell

Are you looking for a relatable, real-life read? The Menopause Monologues are two collections of frank, funny and often touching first-person narratives about what the menopause really feels like. From the effect on mental health and libido to lost sleep and hot flushes. These collections show that when it comes to menopause every woman’s experience is different. There’s also plenty of fun, including accounts from the many women who thought their periods had stopped, only to find that they hadn’t. One ended up walking into a café like John Wayne, thanks to a wedge of loo roll crafted into an emergency sanitary towel!

(Katie’s note: slightly biased on this one as my own story features in The Menopause Monologues part II!)

Me and my menopausal vagina jane lewis books about menopause

12. Me & My Menopausal Vagina - Jane Lewis

This is THE essential guide to vaginal atrophy - its causes, impact on life and ways to manage symptoms. The book shines a light on the sometimes devastating impact of vaginal atrophy, all told from the personal experience of Jane Lewis and in collaboration with her daughter too.

It's a taboo-busting, groundbreaking book about menopause that has helped many women understand and manage this painful symptom of midlife.

Read Jane's account of living with vaginal atrophy which she wrote for The Latte Lounge.

For more support with this topic, you might also find my interview with Dr Nighat Arif, all about vaginal atrophy and uncomfortable sex, useful.

The pelvic floor bible

13. The Pelvic Floor Bible - Jane Simpson

Since starting The Latte Lounge I've realised that so many women put up with the symptoms of poor pelvic floor health such as bladder leaks, an overactive bladder or less enjoyable sex. There are things that you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor and Jane's book is a thorough and invaluable guide to understanding the whats, whys and how-tos. Jane wrote an article for The Latte Lounge all about pelvic health which is a useful intro to what she covers in this highly-recommended book.

While this book isn't solely about pelvic health in menopause (it actually focuses on pelvic floor health throughout every stage of life), it's still the best around for this topic if it's a symptom that you'd like to manage better.

Another great book too is Kim Vopni's Your Pelvic Floor: A Practical Guide to Solving Your Most Intimate Problems. Kim wrote an article for our website 'Is it too late to fix your pelvic floor' all about this topic and shared some tips too.

If you'd like more information on this topic, I'm also a big fan of Elaine Miller, aka 'Gusset Grippers' who I spoke to about pelvic floor health.

14. The Happy Menopause - smart nutrition to help you flourish - Jackie Lynch

What I love about Jackie's book is its structure - it's so practical because it takes you through how to manage common menopausal symptoms through diet and lifestyle.

This book is absolutely essential reading if you're keen to manage your symptoms without HRT. It's also a really useful resource for anyone on HRT who wants to ensure their diet and lifestyle is working to aid hormonal balance not working against it. Jackie is on Instagram @wellwellwelluk and we recently recorded an Instagram Live together all about her book which you can find on our account (@loungethelatte).

If you're interested in how nutrition can be used to combat menopausal anxiety and low mood, read Jackie's article on 'Good mood food to beat the menopausal blues'

15. Menopocalypse: How I Learned to Thrive During Menopause and How You Can Too - Amanda Thebe

Personal Trainer Amanda Thebe figured out that changes to diet, exercise and mental health were the key to not just surviving but thriving through menopause. In this easy-to-understand and often amusing book, Amanda shares what worked for her and the advice she wants to share with other women.

If you'd like a preview of some of the topics Amanda covers in this book, take a look at this conversation I recorded with her recently all about how to stay fit during midlife and menopause over on our YouTube channel.

Read Amanda's interview with The Latte Lounge where she talks about how menopause awareness differs in the UK and US. (Amanda is an ex-Brit living in the US).

everything you need to know about the menopause

16. Everything you need to know about the Menopause - Kate Muir

It's the thinking woman's guide to the menopause, bringing you answers to all those questions that have been hidden behind a veneer of misplaced shame, bad science and centuries of patriarchy. We cannot wait to read it! In the meantime, do watch my interview with Kate Muir about why she's so passionate about shining a spotlight on 'the great menopause scandal', why her own menopause experience was like 'a car crash' or watch my most recent interview with Kate Muir and find out what she covers in her new book.

Conclusion

These 16 books share a wealth of information about perimenopause and menopause and are a really positive sign that the taboo is beginning to break and more information is becoming available to us all. It's the sort of support that I wish had existed when I went through perimenopause!

Each of these books I have found useful or interesting in some way and/or they have been mentioned time and again by the members of my 20,000 strong Facebook community The Latte Lounge (come over and join us!)

And finally, if you are looking for immediate support, don't forget we have our resource area here on our website, a searchable directory of menopause specialists, and my supportive group membership too.

RELATED: If you feel you might be suffering from peri/menopausal symptoms download our FREE perimenopause symptom checker here:  

perimenopause symptom checker
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