Understanding what menopause is
It astounds that women are still being told that (and treated as if) menopause and midlife are a disease — something to be avoided at all costs — when the very opposite is true. Menopause is a gift, a lantern lighting the way to significant transformation in all areas of your life. I want you to know that you can feel and look better than you ever imagined after menopause, even if your symptoms right now are terrible. It just takes a little help and a lot of self-care.
Menopause is a developmental milestone in women’s health — like puberty in reverse — and it’s different for every woman. The word menopause comes from two Greek words: menos or “month” and pausis or “cease”. At menopause, your ovarian function declines, your menstruation cycle stops, and the monthly spike of reproductive hormones recedes.
This does not mean your body stops making sex hormones altogether — it means you don’t get your period and, if you haven’t menstruated for over 12 months, you almost certainly won’t get pregnant. So go ahead and throw out those tampons and pads and buy yourself some nice new underwear.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be some stormy seas. It means that paradise doesn’t come in a pill — it comes from finding out who you really are, what your body really needs, and what you really want to do with this part of your life.
So let’s brave this new sea and swim for shore — I promise you, the water is fine.
The gifts of menopause and post-menopause for women
Once a woman reaches menopause, life gets simpler. Post-menopausal women can maintain regular cycles of energy with much less fatigue. Plus, strange food cravings and binges disappear, as do monthly mood swings and breast tenderness. And there are no more awkward moments walking backwards out of a restaurant with your sweater tied around your hips.
The secret no one tells you is that midlife can be the most radiant, passionate years of your life. Self-knowledge and self-confidence are the true gifts of menopause — they create an inner glow that more than cancels out other physical changes.
Well, it’s a fact that everyone gets older every day and this comes with some inevitable physical changes — it’s a price we all pay for getting to stick around. Gravity does exert its pull — but menopause is not the wicked witch. She does not drain women of any vital function nor turn them old, weak, crotchety, or unattractive with a wave of her wand.
It’s time to retire that tired old stereotype of the post-menopausal woman and take a good look at the real women who are living it.
Just think of the number of highly successful, gorgeous women across the world, who are now in their 50’s and beyond (Kim Basinger, Oprah, Vera Wang, Diane Sawyer, Patti Labelle, Goldie Hawn, Suzanne Somers), and you get an exciting look at the new face of menopause. There’s a reason they’re saying that 50 is the new 30.