I asked my friend Ellen Dolgen to contribute a post for my blog. She’s a great writer and here are her thoughts and wisdom. Enjoy!
I’m in the menopause business. No, this was not my major in college. This is my encore career – menopause education is my mission
Spurred by my own experience struggling with the symptoms of menopause, I have devoted the last ten years of my life to helping other women during this often difficult time. I have “talked the talk” with countless menopause experts so that I can “walk the menopause walk” with you and share the keys to this menopause kingdom. In fact, my husband has nicknamed me the “Vagina Whisperer.”
I founded EllenDolgen.com to help break the silence and educate women about this time in their lives. Part of the problem is that there is a lot of misunderstanding about exactly what menopause is, so to clear things up a bit, here are 8 tips to help you on your menopausal journey:
1. Perimenopause is the six to ten years leading up to menopause. This is often when women experience the most symptoms, typically between 38-48 years old. To help educate women about perimenopause, I commissioned this music video, The Singing Uterus, which first aired on the KATIE Show and Kathie Lee and Hoda!
2. Menopause is the time when a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months. The average age of menopause is 51 But menopause is far from being synonymous with old age! FYI, there are no cap and gown ceremonies, no Hallmark cards commemorating it, and no special cakes with candles to blow out.
3. The timing of menopause is different for every woman. Sadly, you will not receive a “Hold the Date” notice allowing you to prepare in advance. You could go any number of months without your period and then, suddenly, before you hit the magical 12 months, “it” shows up, and you have to start the clock all over again.
4. A Menopause Specialist is important in helping you through your perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopausal journey. If you don’t have one, make certain you find one who is spending much of their time helping women in and around menopause. There are also certified menopause practitioners.
5. The symptoms of menopause can be both physical and emotional. I created a Menopause Symptoms Chart designed to be a guide that helps you explain your symptoms to a menopause specialist. Fill out the chart every day! This will make it easier for a menopause specialist to create your individualized treatment plan.
6. You are not alone! Approximately, two million women every year reach menopause. This is equivalent to 6,000 women entering menopause every day!
7. Trust how you feel. You know when you don’t feel well. No more pretending to be, “fine”. Rather, feel empowered and embrace this time in your life. Put yourself on your own to-do-list!
8. Become your own health advocate. Reach out and get the help you need and deserve! I am not anti-aging! At 62 years old, when I glance in the mirror every morning, “lucky” is the word that fills my heart. Aging is a gift. Because of medical advances and more progressive thinking, postmenopausal women are enjoying fuller, sexier, more soulful lives than ever before. We boomers wouldn’t have it any other way. We want to celebrate life at every age.
My motto is: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
Want to know where you are in your menopause journey? Take this free Menopause Quiz and get immediate feedback. It only takes about 2 minutes.