UCL Health of the Public


The change-up, demystifying the menopause

Join hosts Doctor Xand van Tulleken and Dr Rochelle Burgess for Season 3, Episode 4 of Public Health Disrupted with Prof Joyce Harper and Rachel Lankester.


“We’re more valuable to our communities post-menopause as leaders than as breeders.”

How does our society value menopausal women? The lack of public awareness around this natural phase in a women’s life has resulted in the menopause being associated with a lot of shame, and a whole bunch of negative misconceptions.

In this thought-provoking episode, Joyce Harper (Professor of Reproductive Science at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health) and Rachel Lankester (author of Magnificent Midlife) challenge the prevailing negative narrative surrounding the menopause by debunking common myths, and revealing the surprising beneficial rewards that await women post-menopause. Plus, what can we learn from the whales?


Joyce Harper

When Joyce isn’t open-water swimming she can be found debunking myths around women’s reproductive health on her own podcast Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me This?, or in any number of her other roles which include: Head of the Reproductive Science and Society Group, founder of Reproductive Health at Work and International Reproductive Health Education Collaboration, and co-founder of the UK Fertility Education Initiative. Joyce has worked in the fields of fertility, genetics, reproductive health and women’s health for over 30 years. Joyce is committed to shining the spotlight on three key stages of women’s health: the menstrual cycle, the fertile years and the menopause. Her latest book, Your Fertile Years, was published in 2021.

Rachel Lankester

Rachel Lankester is an author, podcaster, and editor of the online magazine The Mutton Club for women over 40. Following her own experience of the menopause, Rachel founded Magnificent Midlife: a hub of community and support for women over 40. Rachel's ‘midlife reinvention’ came after a long and varied career in finance, journalism and PR which took her all over the world, and she now works to help support women navigating the often ‘messy middle’ of life. Rachel’s written a book called Magnificent Midlife: Transform Your Middle Years, Menopause and Beyond and also hosts the Magnificent Midlife Podcast, inspiring women to not just survive, but thrive.

Public Health Disrupted with Rochelle Burgess and Xand Van Tulleken is produced by Buckers at Decibelle Creative, find her on Instagram: @decibelle_creative and here: https://www.decibellecreative.com