'There's so much prejudice around menopause, that we come to see it as something negative rather than what it is: an essential life phase like any other. I’ve tried to live well and embrace it.' Beatriz, 54, Fortaleza, Brazil By 2025, there will be 1.1 billion women1 like Beatriz: menopausal or post-menopausal. Women in the prime of their life. Women all around the world and in every corner of the globe, from India to China, Mexico to Brazil and more. Women at the height of their careers. Women whom society depend upon. Women who agreed to share their stories. And what they told is that many women find this life stage — along with the changes their bodies are going through — difficult. Some feel as if their body is betraying them. Everything they had felt so sure about in the past is suddenly changing. Individual Women, Individual Experiences Menopause is one of the biggest biological shifts a woman endures. Her hormone levels drop. Her periods stop, along with production of eggs. These changes can bring with them a variety of challenging physical and emotional symptoms which each woman experiences in their own way. There are more than 40 symptoms associated with menopause, and how a woman’s body responds to them can vary day to day1. As there is no one common menopause reality, many women go through it feeling alone and isolated. They often suffer in silence, thinking that these symptoms are just another sign of aging and it can trigger uncertainty and questioning after having reached this middle age phase. 'Menopause hits at a time when life is changing; your parents are aging, your children are leaving home, and you can feel lost in the middle of it all.' Rita, 49, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Despite 47 million2 women entering menopause each year, this natural part of growing older is still something few people talk about. Social stigma and lack of awareness of what’s happening to their bodies means many women may have never had a conversation about menopause.4 Studies suggest that half of women suffering symptoms don’t seek any medical help at all.4 'I haven't told a soul that I'm going through menopause. I don't want people to think I'm getting old and can't run my business. Sadly, menopause is still such a taboo. Raising public awareness might encourage more people to speak out. Then, maybe women like me could get the treatment we need.' Jing Wen, 44, Guangzhou, China Women around the world wrestle with sometimes debilitating symptoms without seeking medical support simply because they feel uncomfortable talking about it. 'The Next Chapter' features stories about menopause from women around the world. The book is available in four languages and each book was illustrated by a local woman artist. Click the image for more.