How to treat a menopausal woman: a history, 1900 to 2000

Curr Womens Health Rep. 2002 Oct;2(5):349-55.


Over the course of the 20th century, physicians had a variety of hormonal treatments to offer their menopausal patients. This paper traces the development and deployment of these therapies, which ranged from desiccated ewe ovary to the modern estrogen replacement therapy. In addition, this paper demonstrates that women often medicated themselves at menopause, turning perhaps to Lydia Pinkham's vegetable tonic or the more modern Change-O-Life elixir. Finally, this paper discusses the larger societal approaches to eliminating menopausal symptoms.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Desiccation
  • Diethylstilbestrol / history
  • Diethylstilbestrol / therapeutic use
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / history
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / history
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Menopause* / physiology
  • Menopause* / psychology
  • Nonprescription Drugs / history
  • Nonprescription Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Ovary


  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Diethylstilbestrol