Menopause, a profound and inevitable transition in a woman’s life, remains shrouded in silence, a topic often whispered about in hushed tones or brushed aside altogether. Despite its universality, this natural journey-marked by hormonal shifts, physical changes, and a spectrum of symptoms has long lingered in the shadows of conversation. Menopause is a stage of life that demands recognition, understanding, and open dialogue, yet it is frequently overlooked and misunderstood. It’s a crucial chapter in a woman’s story, one that deserves to be told with clarity, empathy, and humour.
In this review, we will delve into the pages of Hot and Bothered, exploring how this book tackles the silence surrounding menopause, providing insight, empowerment, and camaraderie to women navigating the turbulent waters of this life-altering transition.
Jancee Dunn is the Well columnist at The New York Times. Furthermore, she boasts a track record as a New York Times bestselling author, having penned eight books.
Among her notable works is How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, which achieved publication in a dozen languages. Additionally, her collection of essays titled Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? earned recognition as a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. For the past two decades, she has been a prolific contributor to publications like Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Health, predominantly focusing on health-related topics.
What is the book about?
Hot and Bothered by Jancee Dunn is a humorous and insightful exploration of the often-overlooked subject of menopause in our society. Dunn shares her personal journey through perimenopause, vividly describing the challenges she faced, including dry skin and hot flashes. She offers various treatments for menopausal symptoms, emphasising each woman’s unique experience. The book advocates for open conversations about menopause to break the silence and stigma surrounding it.
This candid and funny book provides valuable insights into broader issues related to this life stage, calling for more education and empathy. Dunn, a health journalist, highlights the lack of accessible information on menopause. She interviews experts, presents treatment options, and offers practical advice to improve sleep, sexual health, mood, mental clarity, and skin condition. Hot and Bothered aims to empower women to embrace menopause with confidence and dignity.
Table of contents
- Author’s Note
- CHAPTER 1: What to Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting
- CHAPTER 2: Why Didn’t I Know This?
- CHAPTER 3: The Twilight Saga
- CHAPTER 4: Your Smokin’ Hot New Body.
- CHAPTER 5: I Didn’t Get Any Sleep, But I Did Catch Up on My Brooding
- CHAPTER 6: 50, Shades of Gray.
- CHAPTER 7: Why Did I Walk Into This Room Again?
- CHAPTER 8: The Dry Vagina Monologues
- CHAPTER 9: Hormone Therapy – Let’s Go There
- CHAPTER 10: The Restoration
- CONCLUSION: Meno-Positivity!
Three key takeaways from Hot and Bothered
1Increasing awareness of menopause is necessary
“Age, hormonal imbalances, any condition, it’s all natural and normal and there is nothing new under the sun.”
Jancee Dunn’s personal journey through the confusion and misdiagnosis of perimenopause highlights the glaring lack of awareness and open dialogue surrounding this natural life transition. She emphasises the urgent need to normalise conversations about menopause and educate both women and healthcare providers about its complexities. The absence of formal menopause training in medical education and the minimal attention given to menopausal symptoms during medical visits underscore the widespread ignorance on this topic. Dunn’s exploration serves as a stark reminder that many women remain uninformed about menopause, despite its profound impact on their lives. Raising awareness and fostering open discussions are essential steps toward empowering women to navigate this significant life stage with knowledge and confidence.
2During menopause, self-care and self-acceptance can help you embrace new you
Jancee Dunn’s exploration of menopause highlights the intimate journey of self-acceptance that many women experience as their bodies change during this life stage. Menopause brings shifts in hormones and body shape, including changes in the abdomen area. Dunn’s candid discussion reflects the challenge of maintaining self-love during these transformations and the responsibility of setting a positive example for younger generations. Ageing serves as a powerful teacher in the art of self-love, as it cannot be stopped but can be embraced with grace.
Additionally, board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss offers practical advice for menopausal skin care, emphasising the importance of moisture and collagen support. Her tips include using gentle cleansers, incorporating retinols or peptides into the skincare routine, and fortifying the skin barrier with products containing ceramides. Misting the skin and using hyaluronic acid can help with hydration, while addressing menopausal acne requires a careful approach tailored to sensitive skin. Wearing sunscreen daily is a crucial step in maintaining healthy and youthful skin.
3A proactive approach to health management is essential during perimenopause and menopause
Jancee Dunn emphasises the importance of proactive health management during the perimenopausal transition. As the body undergoes hormonal changes, women should be vigilant about their cardiovascular health, as heart disease remains the leading cause of death among women. Symptoms commonly associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, may also have a correlation with cardiovascular disease. Monitoring heart health and discussing it with healthcare providers is essential.
Perimenopause offers a window of opportunity for women to take charge of their well-being. It’s a time when preventive care is highly advantageous, as it can mitigate risks associated with hypertension, cholesterol disorders, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Effective treatments for menopausal symptoms exist but are often unknown to many women. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes paramount during perimenopause. Prioritising physical activity, managing weight, adopting a balanced diet (such as the Mediterranean diet), ensuring adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, and reassessing alcohol and smoking habits can positively impact overall health.
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Jancee Dunn’s sense of humour and witty writing style make the book enjoyable and relatable.
The book offers valuable and well-researched information, providing insights into the challenges of menopause.
The book combines expert knowledge and personal experiences, creating an accessible and reassuring tone.
Some readers found the book to be overly depressing in its portrayal of menopause.
Best quotes from Hot and Bothered
“In 2020, the American Heart Association released a statement that some of the symptoms common with menopause have a correlation with cardiovascular disease – among them hot flashes, night sweats, depression, sleep disturbances, and increased abdominal fat – so heart health, it went on, should be monitored in midlife.”
“Menopause is so little talked about as a transition in our lives that it really catches people off guard. So they come in blindsided, having no understanding that many of these changes that they’re experiencing are related to a normal, natural physiologic event. Or they’ve been grossly misinformed, and I sort of have to bring them back and reset.”
“My experience was not exactly novel: perimenopausal women can spend several years trying to get the right diagnosis and treatment. Medicine, of course, has a long history of telling women that their symptoms are all in their heads; it’s even more common, studies have found, for women of color and those of larger size.”
Hot and Bothered by Jancee Dunn is a must-read for women entering the transformative stage of menopause. With her signature humour and engaging writing style, Dunn successfully sheds light on the often-overlooked subject of menopause, making it an enjoyable and relatable read. The book’s strengths lie in its combination of well-researched information and personal experiences, offering valuable insights into the challenges of menopause. It advocates for increased awareness and open conversations about this life transition, emphasising the need for education and empathy.
This book is highly recommended for women approaching menopause, as it provides practical advice, expert knowledge, and a sense of camaraderie during a phase that is often misunderstood and under-discussed.
Where to buy
You may purchase Hot and Bothered on Amazon at the best price. It is available in hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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