WOMEN ARE BREAKING THE SILENCE ON MENOPAUSE
Meet the lightworkers who are turning this taboo topic into a captivating convo.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Menopause is typically a hush-hush hot topic, but it should be trending — and for good reason. Despite being one of the most human and hormonal experiences since puberty, menopause is widely misunderstood and overlooked. Yet an estimated 1.3 million women in the U.S. enter menopause every year. Let’s change how we talk about menopause, once and for all?
What is menopause?
Before we get into it, what exactly is menopause? By definition, menopause is a natural, biological process where the body stops producing the hormones needed for menstruation and fertility. This transition comes in three stages:
- Perimenopause: The time leading up to menopause when hormones start to decline and menstrual cycles become irregular. This is the stage where most people experience symptoms like hot flashes or vaginal dryness.
- Menopause: The state of having gone without a menstrual cycle for 12 months in a row.
- Postmenopause: After 12 months without a menstrual cycle, you’re postmenopausal for life.
The physical transitions of menopause leads to a mental, emotional, and spiritual transition. Due to a lack of public awareness and education, many women endure menopause alone and seldom have the space to explore, understand, and express their experiences and how it has affected their identities.
For some, menopause is a relief that marks the end of painful periods and the possibility of pregnancy. Still, for others, this transition comes packed with the shame and stigma associated with getting older and “going through the changes.” This emotional and social struggle with menopause has put a lid on public discussions, but today, we’re highlighting the stories of menopausal lightworkers so people at every stage of the process can share and destigmatize their experiences. We’ve gathered candid quotes about aging, menopause, and what it means to be in this new chapter of life. Here’s what they had to say.
Everyone’s story is different.
“There are so many assumptions about who and when people will experience [menopause], but this is a life transformation that everybody who has a uterus and ovaries will go through. How diverse that experience is [depends on] who that person is and their intersectional identity. It’s not just about their age; it’s where they live and their racial identity, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, and class… All these things impact their menopausal experiences.” — Omisade Burney-Scott, founder of Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause
Yes, there’s life after menopause.
“I’m happy to be my age, but I want to show that older women are not mono-persons. We all think differently. We dress differently. We have different goals, dreams, and powers. It would be ridiculous to say everyone from zero to 50 is the same for women. But yet, we say from 50 to a hundred, that’s just one woman. I want to show younger women that there [are] so many older women [who] are amazing role models, but they’re just not exposed to them. They’re all around us.” — Danusia Garrison, multi-decade model
Always enjoy the ride — even during menopause.
“Now, I am in my 50s, which is a whole different thing: I feel a lot more relaxed than I did in my 40s — even more confident, but there’s not so much pressure, in a way, to be something. But talk to me another day and I’ll feel that pressure — it will rear its ugly head. The truth is we never figure it all out. Ever. You just have to enjoy the journey. I try to live my life more in the moment [and] be present. Not to be grim, but as we age, we have elders and loved ones start to pass, even friends, and you start to realize the preciousness of our time on earth.” — Margit Detweiler, Keys Soulcare Editorial Director
Menopause can cause skin changes – so adjust your ritual accordingly.
“Studies show that our skin loses about 30 percent of its collagen during the first five years of menopause. Though menopause can begin as early as 45 years-old, many will encounter this milestone in their fifties. Keep in mind that no two people are the same: These changes can take place over years or even happen overnight.” — Dr. Renée Snyder, dermatologist
Menopause can be liberating.
“I no longer bleed; those days are done. All my life force is now retained for one — myself. I am grateful for my life, my children, and the people who loved and cared for me along the way. So many have left my life, but I still treasure the gifts they gave me and feel good about giving my heart to them.” — Willow Tucker, spiritual teacher and healer
Moisturizer is a menopause must-have.
“I found out I was postmenopausal from the labs when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have to take an aromatase inhibitor, which only works if you’re postmenopausal. I do have hot flashes now from the medication, but my experience with menopause was actually relatively easy. With my background as a pharmacist and familial education, I had an idea of the changes that would happen, especially with my skin and hair. I am now dry as a desert so now my ritual incorporates richer creams alongside a dose of patience.” — Asha Patel, jeweler and retired pharmacist
Menopause is a time for soulcare.
“Generationally, we’ve been taught to internalize shame about menopause…But menopause is mother nature’s way of forcing us to refocus our energy on ourselves.” — Stacy London, TV personality and CEO of the State of Menopause
What has been your experience with menopause? Share your myth-busting tips and testimonies in the comments!