Paradox of turning 50: Reflecting on The Journey of Women's Health

Last year, The Nursery set out to better understand an often-ignored group: the Gen X’ers turning 50 in 2022. We debunked the myths and dived into what it really means to be 50 in today’s world – uncovering the tensions, their priorities at this life stage, and how being 50 is perceived in media and advertising.

One of the key topics that stood out to us in the Health team, was the conflict felt in the community around feeling in their ‘prime’ mentally, emotionally, financially but being aware that physically they may begin to have health niggles, feel changes in their body, and are classified as ‘vulnerable’ in the healthcare system.

So whilst 50 is the start of ‘living your best life’, it is also the point when vulnerabilities and physical worries can start creeping in. For those with existing health concerns and chronic conditions, this can be exacerbated after hitting 50 (indicated by red line in the graph below).

There is so much we can say about this tension between being strong yet vulnerable at 50, but let’s focus on one important fact: For women turning 50, it is more than just an age milestone, it represents the big M word: menopause.

The women in our community shared that:

·       Menopause affects all areas of life (work, family, mental health, relationships and sexuality, their other health concerns)

·       There is already a lot of pressure to look and feel youthful, and menopause makes it even harder to do so

·       Even just the diagnosis of menopause impacts women’s perception of how young they feel, without any presenting symptoms

·       Women often misalign their menopause symptoms to other things like stress and mental health issues

·       Lack of real understanding and education around HRT, hormones and menopause as a whole can leave women feeling even more vulnerable at this time

·       Menopause is perceived to be a very under-researched area, and women take it upon themselves to become experts

o   Using Facebook groups and peers to build a network of support and discover channels of information

·       There is tension with GPs as women feel they have to fight and shout to get the attention, support and medication they need at this time

o   More affluent women may be able to see menopause specialists, however there are very lengthy waitlists

·       Women resonate well with marketing by The Body Shop who have removed all ‘anti-ageing’ terminology from their products, and by Primark who have launched a line of menopause temperature controlled garments

·       There is a huge need and respect for women like Davina McCall who speak out about menopause and can be a positive and relatable ‘face’ for 50 year old women

The women in this community have inspired us to focus our 2023 on understanding the Women’s Health Journey more, and across all life stages – so make sure you follow along with us!

If you’d like to have a more detailed deep dive into understanding this group of Over 50s, and specifically women and their health journey in relation to this key milestone – reach out to The Nursery Health team at