While menopause is a normal and natural part of aging for women, many of us have no idea what to expect as we approach our post-reproductive years. And many symptoms that can accompany menopause, along with their impact on our bodies, minds and emotions, can leave even the strongest woman feeling alone. Because the topic of menopause was, and is, still widely considered “taboo” or “off limits” for our mothers, and our mother’s mother (and so on), many of us find ourselves part of a tribe of women lacking the passed-down knowledge that could make all the difference for how we approach this inevitable time of our lives.
One of the most powerful aspects of the Gennev brand is the community of women who gather with us, finding common ground with other women through shared experiences, offering advice and gaining support from someone who “gets it”. We have made it our mission to educate women about menopause. Our wish is that women will be part of the change, and help us pass on menopause knowledge to future generations.
We asked the Gennev community what advice they would share with younger women about what to expect in menopause. Below are their responses.
“First of all, it is important to talk about strange symptoms you are experiencing. Ask questions, do not be ashamed and see a trusted GP that will help you through it. Be brave and know that you are not alone…” Mauricia B, 48 Perimenopause
“Menopause is NOT just about hot flashes. There are a lot of symptoms to consider that can impact your long-term health during perimenopause and menopause. I started experiencing perimenopause at age 43 and left it to fester until it was unbearable at age 49. I wish I had taken it seriously while I was knee-deep in perimenopause.” Valerie W, 58, Postmenopause
“Menopause is so much more than just not having a period. It involves the mind and the body and the changes are different for everybody. It’s important to take very good care of oneself, eat properly, continue to move and exercise and to keep the brain active. I would recommend trying the least invasive things first to relieve uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. If that doesn’t work then try hormone replacement therapy and keep checking in with yourself. It helps to discuss menopause with other women that are going through or who have been through similar circumstances.” Terry C, 56, Postmenopause
“It’s a natural progression in the life of a woman. Learn as much as you can in your thirties so that you’re prepared and aren’t overwhelmed by the changes that will take place physically, mentally, and emotionally. Talk to other women about their experiences if they’re open to it.” Anonymous, 63, Postmenopause
“It creeps in on you and starts earlier than you might expect…!” Anonymous, 49, Perimenopause
“If you have an OBGYN, expect to explore a gynecologist with specialty in menopause. Doctors are never taught menopause. And they themselves don't know very much about it for themselves. Don't expect the doctors to have the answers. They don't. Mine told me I was crazy - what I'm experiencing is due to stress, travel, work, etc. Not perimenopause even though I knew in my gut that this wasn't just life circumstances and choices. It was a shift in my body make up. Trust your intuition.” Anonymous, 46, Perimenopause
“Hormones havoc the lives of women to such an extent that we find no road, but stay calm, till the symptoms subside on their own - it might take years of our life, nothing is in our hands except the lifestyle changes and positive approach towards the transformation we have.” Anonymous, 50, Postmenopause
“Don’t suffer with symptoms; blood tests do not give the full picture; arm yourself with information.” Anonymous, 45, Perimenopause
“It has helped me to just dive into learning about it. I'm also reminded of the quote that goes something like "the only thing certain in life is change". I'm working on embracing and finding the positives in the changes. For me, getting to this stage of life means I have a lot more freedom and options of how I spend my work time and free time. That's definitely a positive aspect of all of this!” Anonymous, 42, Perimenopause
“Expect that you will probably be in perimenopause long before you think you are, and that even if you have a female doctor, they might not be able to give you the correct or all the information you need. They may not know any better of what is happening to you. So, READ whatever you can about perimenopause, menopause, etc. Don't be afraid to talk with your friends. I've found that when I bring up what I'm going through, so many of them are willing to open up and seem almost relieved to have someone else to talk to. You're not alone!” Lisa H, 50, Postmenopause
“Expect! I’d tell all start now! Ask your mother and also if you have a grandmother, your aunts. Plain as can be I say look for reputable menopause research.” Ginny K, 63, Postmenopause
“Totally natural process but there are so many different ways each woman goes through it. For me having a close friend also going through it helps. We talk to each other about it also.” Annalise S, 46, Perimenopause
“Expect your body’s “normal” patterns to change - some changes will be annoying and frustrating and some will be a relief. Don’t freak out but do check in with your doctor because there might be something else exacerbating your symptoms. Embrace the transition from being the fresh-faced newbie into being the mentor who can give wise guidance. You have a lot to offer the world even if no one else is validating that right now. Your creative energy may shift in a new direction and that is okay. It’s okay to stop chasing youth and embrace your scars, and grey hair, and laugh lines - let your character show.” Angela S, 47, Perimenopause
“Everyone's body is different and will experience different symptoms. When you feel like you’re at your ropes-end, press forward with all you got.” Anonymous, 43, Perimenopause
“Read, learn, discuss with those who you know who have experienced it because it WILL happen to you.” Jennifer F, 53, Perimenopause
“It is different for everyone. You are unique and need to know yourself and your body. Reach out for help. Hormones are real. They do run our lives ..... :-)” Lisa J.B., 53, Perimenopause
"Hot flashes are no joke, so dress in layers. And, don’t be ashamed or afraid to talk about it. Menopause was always something I thought of happening when I’m “old” but at 52 I’m not old at all. I’m healthy, vibrant, fun & fun-loving. I’m strong and sexy and smart. It can certainly be a bit of a roller coaster, but talking about it, sharing your experience and finding some humor in it can all be healthy and therapeutic in managing it. And the more we, as women, talk about it the more it’ll become “normal” vs taboo or something that signals “old age”. It’s just a stage that we all go through. And the best part? Never having to worry about your period again. You can wear whatever you want, white pants and all, whenever you want! Not gonna lie though, I’ll be glad when the hot flashes are over...” Erin E, 52, Postmenopause
“Expect your journey to be your own. Expect to get help so demand it. Expect to be amazed and empowered by the women you’re in it with!” Jenn K, 50, Perimenopause
“I would advise to expect a period like your teenage years with a lot of hormones imbalance so I would advise them to get ready early as possible with lots of information to be able to prepare your body and your mind, and don’t think of menopause as a taboo because it doesn’t represent the end of our life or something to be ashamed of. And I really hope that soon GPs could be more knowledgeable about it and be more supportive because we really need it.” Orietta F, 52
“Read all you can about it. It’s been really rough for me, but knowledge has helped me know how to help myself.” Paula C, 50, Perimenopause
“Be aware that any physiological and/or psychological changes from your mid 30s could be hormone-related. The symptoms of perimenopause are so wide-ranging and vary from woman to woman but, certainly, if you were previously a happy, optimistic person and suddenly realize you are feeling low and/or anxious for no particular reason, this could be a sign that things are starting to change.” Louise S, 44, Perimenopause
“Take extra good care of all parts of yourself. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. Address underlying issues, don’t let things be swept under the rug.” Tanya C, 53, Perimenopause
“Don't dread it, but instead inform and arm yourself with information and stories from other women. Women don’t need to suffer; there are so many ways to feel really amazing in your body. This time of life is too precious not to live to your fullest.” Jill A, 47, Perimenopause
“I was afraid to talk about it. My kids were in their late teens and early twenties, every time the "M" word came up they would tease and joke about it excessively. I would not talk about it, but I finally got fed up and told them it was hurtful and isolating. That changed the entire concept of menopause for all of us. I did not want to be "old" enough to be perimenopausal! Acceptance made the process so much easier.” Dana H, 52, Postmenopause
“Find someone supportive to talk/cry/laugh with. My sister and I lean on each other.” Lisa C, 57, Postmenopause
“Be good to yourself, even though it’s hard, embrace the changes in your body and try to deal with relations issues as best you can before you are officially in menopause. I found the things I didn't deal with before in my life came at me bigger and worse than ever. Really had to cut some ties this year, grieve a lot and make time for myself to stay as calm as possible.” Laurie C, 59, Postmenopause
“It can start as early as your 30's. Talk with your mother/aunt/grandmother about the issues they experienced. Educate yourself and empower every young woman to do the same.” Deborah B, 57, Postmenopause
“When you start to experience symptoms that aren’t “you” - brain fog, irritability, low energy, mild depression, increased anxiety, wonky periods - don’t let your provider tell you: “You’re too young to be experiencing perimenopause.” Go online and search for a provider that specializes in menopause symptoms and treatment, because you’re going to need her expertise for the next decade or more. Starting early will mean you’re not caught unaware and alone in the journey every woman takes. You will have education and support.” Dessie, 51 Perimenopause
Join us in being part of the change! Share these 28 responses along with your own menopause experiences with the younger women in your personal community. We all menopause better together!
There are over 34 symptoms that women experience throughout menopause. From hot flashes, weight changes and sleep disturbances, to vaginal dryness, mood swings and fatigue, hormonal shifts are something you can expect in menopause! There’s no need to grin and bear the symptoms of menopause. Gennev’s board-certified OB/GYNs specialize in menopause and will help you understand your symptoms and find relief with prescription or natural therapies that are right for you.
The information on the Gennev site is never meant to replace the care of a qualified medical professional. Hormonal shifts throughout menopause can prompt a lot of changes in your body, and simply assuming something is “just menopause” can leave you vulnerable to other possible causes. Always consult with your physician or schedule an appointment with one of Gennev's telemedicine doctors before beginning any new treatment or therapy.