DON'T CHANGE: A Biological Revolution for Women by Wendy Cooper

DON'T CHANGE: A Biological Revolution for Women

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Estrogen therapy remains controversial since Dr. Robert Wilson's 1966 book Feminine Forever but even if you're a believer, Cooper's extravagant encomiums are hard to take. You will be told at one point that ""In many ways estrogen has a place in the life of women rather like love itself."" Cooper's descriptions of the menopausal harpies who have not received HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is enough to induce hot flashes in women who are still decades away from what used to be considered the onset of old age. Second only to the pill, Cooper sees HRT as ""biological lib"" and every woman's birthright. She has found scores of women who testify that it cured or prevented everything from headaches to vaginal atrophy, palpitations to osteoporosis--that's the resorption and reduction of bony tissue which accompanies the aging process causing ""shrinkage"" in older people. Some of the medical studies Cooper cites are still inconclusive or in progress but certainly by now some of the old alarms have been quelled--e.g., it was stilbesterol, a synthetic coal-tar derivative, which apparently caused cancer in the daughters of pregnant women; there is now evidence that women who have received natural estrogen have a significantly lower incidence of both cancer and heart attacks. Cooper defines menopause as ""quite simply and logically a deficiency condition"" and she argues that, given the ""protective"" role of estrogen in the body, HRT should be a normal, everyday part of preventive medicine. It's not quite so routine yet (how does estrogen affect other body hormones?) but Cooper says that doctors are less inclined to tell middle-aged women just to ""let nature take its course."" With many traumatized ""before"" and ecstatic ""after"" letters from women who say they no longer feel like ""a moody thing.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day