Menopause hot flashes, which can occur anytime during the day or night, aren’t a condition you see highlighted regularly on television. But they’re not that unusual either. Some popular TV shows have tackled “the change” with drama, wit and even laugh-out-loud hilarity for more than four decades.
“Edith’s Problem” All in the Family (1972)
All in the Family was one of the first sitcoms to tackle the taboo subject of menopause. During one show, Edith Bunker starts experiencing menopause hot flashes and mood swings while she and her husband Archie are in the midst of planning a vacation. The usually mild-mannered and deferential Edith loses her temper and finally expresses her frustrations with her husband. Archie, surprised by Edith’s outburst, longs for the days when private things, such as menopause, weren’t discussed; he laments having to be understanding in the face of change. While notable for even addressing the subject, Edith’s portrayal of the menopausal wife is played more for laughs than education.
“End of the Curse” Golden Girls (1986)
In an Emmy award-winning performance during the Golden Girls’ second season, Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) takes a home pregnancy test after a missed period. The results are positive, but a follow-up doctor’s appointment results in a different diagnosis: menopause. Blanche then struggles with her feelings about aging, with a few sitcom zingers thrown in to lighten the mood. As a viewer, it seemed unlikely Blanche would be pregnant at that stage of her life, but given her recurring denial of her age, it’s a realistic character moment.
“Clair’s Liberation” The Cosby Show (1990)
Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) was always a down-to-earth character, and she treats menopause with a refreshing matter-of-fact manner. Her kids are the ones in full-blown panic, believing that women going through the change literally go insane. Clair decides to have a little fun with them by acting out their worst-case scenarios, before educating them on the realities of aging as a woman.
“Heartbreaker” That ’70s Show (2002)
In this season five episode, Forman matriarch Kitty is over the moon about her pregnancy. Like The Golden Girls’ Blanche, she isn’t experiencing typical menopause symptoms, but a doctor confirms it’s the cause of her missed period. A funny heart-to-heart with mom Bea (Betty White) and a fact-finding mission by husband Red and son Eric to understand menopause brings levity to Kitty’s emotional struggle.
Menopause hot flashes aren’t just the stuff of TV dramas and comedies, and for many women, they are no laughing matter. If they’re a problem for you, Relizen may be an option. A non-hormonal therapy recommended by over 2,300 gynecologists in the United States, Relizen provides safe relief of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.*