Medications play a huge role in American society. We heavily rely on medications for the slightest discomfort or irritability that we may feel. Many of these discomforts are natural responses from our bodies such as menopause in women. According to our lecture this week, medicalization is a term that is used to describe the control over bodies and behaviors through medical interventions. Medicalization is often seen as an easy way to normalize our bodies if we are sick. Biomedicalization is a more recent trend that is the enhancement of bodies and behaviors through medical interventions. Biomedicalization is different from medicalization because biomedicalization is not something you need to rely on in order to survive. Biomedicalization is there to help ease the pain of natural body symptoms such as from menstruation, obesity, or menopause. It is used to enhance your life and make it easier for you to live your everyday life without worrying about those irritable symptoms. Since we do heavily rely on medications, it shows how our culture promotes being healthy as something with no discomfort. If you feel any discomfort at all, even if it is a natural process that your body might be going through, our society sees it as a problem and there is a pill available in the pharmaceutical market for you.

Menopause is a natural stage that a female body goes in which a woman’s menstrual period stops permanently. This usually occurs in a woman in her late forties to early fifties. Some of these symptoms include hot flashes, mood swings and loss of bone density. Many of the symptoms of menopause are irritable for women. In the commercial for menopause below, it shows women who are irritated by hot flashes during lunch, work meeting, and at night in bed. This commercial is showing how menopause can be detrimental to your social life and in order to relieve yourself from this, you should take the i-Cool pill. It also tags on the “clinically proven to safely reduce hot flashes” line at the end to assure women that it is safe.



Karim, Taz. “Week 5: Lecture 2.” ANP 204 Introduction to Medical Anthropology Summer 2014 Week 5 Lecture 2 Comments. (accessed August 2, 2014).

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  1. Breanna Ramsay says:

    Just as a woman’s menstrual cycle has become medicalized over time so has the next biological stage in a woman’s life. “Medicalized menopause” appeared around the 1930’s and 1940’s and is still an “illness” that we see a great deal of biomedical interventions being created for today. It is crazy to think how this once natural biological process has become something thought of as an illness. This article brings to light how it is possible that the medicalization of menopause maintains ideas of “negative feminine stereotypes, gender biases, and notions of female inferiority, by suggesting menopause as a dreaded decline in health which places women in a condition of deficiency which needs to be fixed.” This article also points out that though that physicians may play some role in the medicalization of menopause and the belief that “menopause [is] some sort of biological decay requiring medical intervention”, it is more likely it has to do with pharmaceutical companies. As we learned about in our lecture on “The Medicalization of Menstruation” and in the film “Pill Poppers”, pharmaceutical companies creation of birth control pills and other drugs designed to change a woman’s menstrual cycle has become an incredibly popular market. The same has become true with menopause. Commercials and advertisements for pills and different drugs designed to treat the symptoms of menopause are becoming more and more prominent. Menopause does no longer seem like a natural biological process, but an illness that needs to be treated. The strong push with commercials and advertisements are clear signs that the culture of western society is seeing menopause as an illness instead of a natural biological process, with symptoms that need to be treated.

    Miller, Magnolia, “When did Menopause Become a Disease?”, Healthline, published 14 May, 2012, accessed 3 August 2014.

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