How Do We Learn More And Overcome Our Symptoms Together?
Tracee Ellis Ross is used to being in the spotlight.
The 49-year-old actress has been in the celebrity business her whole life and has starred in hit TV shows like “Girlfriends” and “Black-ish.” Even with her expansive fame, Ross isn’t afraid to get candid about her life off-screen.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Tracee opened up about a topic most women don’t talk about publicly, perimenopause. She described her experience as her “wild-woman phase” which has been “frying her brain.” She also said it was “the most glorious invitation into a new season and chapter” in her life and we couldn’t agree more.
Ms. Ross, in the same interview, also noted the lack of information about perimenopause. “There’s no information about it,” she said. “There’s shame talking about it.”
Ross’ candidness about perimenopause is appreciated, especially since the media tends to sideline the topic. We need more women to speak out and break the stigma.
So, what is perimenopause?
They say life begins at 40 — an age when you are wiser, settled in your career, and comfortable in your skin. But for many women, 40 is also the age when you may start to experience perimenopause, the lead-up to menopause. More specifically, perimenopause is the transition period leading up to menopause when a woman stops having her period. It typically starts around the age of 40 but can happen earlier or later. Symptoms can last for several years and include:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Vaginal dryness
While 1.3 million women go through menopause in the United States each year — with 5% experiencing early menopause between the ages of 40 and 45 — this phase is often ignored, misunderstood, and often talked about in a negative light which ultimately dishonors women and their bodies. It’s time to change that.
What can we do to break the stigma around perimenopause?
- Educate ourselves. We need to understand what it is and how it affects our bodies. Once we have that knowledge, we are empowered to break down the fear that something may be wrong with us and move ahead in resolving symptoms.
- Normalize the conversation by talking about the topic more openly. We need to create a safe space for women to talk about their perimenopause experiences without judgment.
- Support each other by sharing our stories and offering advice. If you are going through perimenopause, please know that you are not alone. There are many other women out there who are also going through it. Reach out to your friends, family and community for support.
What you can do conquer our symptoms of perimenopause
If you are experiencing perimenopause, here are some tips on how to get through it.
- First, try to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. This can help your body cope with the changes it’s going through.
- Second, make sure to get enough sleep. This can be difficult when dealing with hot flashes and night sweats, but it’s important to get at least seven hours of sleep.
- Third, take some time for yourself. This is a difficult time for your body and mind, so it’s important to relax and de-stress when you can.
- Finally, do not be afraid to ask for help. If you are struggling, reach out to your doctor or a counselor. They can help you understand what’s happening and provide support. Your doctor may prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which can help relieve symptoms. Once your prescriber writes your prescription, a compounding pharmacy like Belmar Pharmacy will customize your BHRT to fit your specific needs.
It’s true that perimenopause can be a difficult time for a woman, but with education and support, we can thrive. For more information on perimenopause, check out our blog.