September is Menopause Awareness Month!

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There are approximately 65 million menopausal women in the US, and I am willing to bet that most of you have no idea that there is an actual month devoted to raising awareness about this important life stage. Am I right? The only reason I know about it is because I belong to the North American Menopause Society, which is dedicated to the education of both health care professionals and menopausal women. In addition to the fact that I am a gynecologist who specializes in midlife women’s health, I also hit the BIG 5-0 this year. It turned out to be both a milestone birthday AND my ticket to officially join the menopause club. Yep, that’s right. You heard it here first. I am number 65 million and 1.

So in celebration of all the women approaching menopause and those of us who are already there, I thought it would be fun to review what the fuss is all about. Menopause is a milestone event in every woman’s life and a natural part of aging. It marks the end of having menstrual cycles and making estrogen from our ovaries and the beginning of a whole new chapter. We will spend about one third of our lives as menopausal women. That is an important concept to grasp. Menopause is not just about hot flashes and night sweats, although 80% of us will experience those symptoms. And it’s not just about vaginal dryness, painful sex, weight gain, poor sleep, fatigue, mood swings, brain fog, aches and pains and feeling crummy, though many of us will experience that too. No, sisters! Menopause is our wake up call to do a better job of making healthy lifestyle choices and taking good care of our bodies. It is about finally doing the fun things we have been putting off, because we have been too busy taking care of everyone else. With the wisdom that comes along with getting older, we are much more capable of living meaningful and authentic lives. (Well, I think I heard Oprah say something like that anyway.)

September also happens to be the month when Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated. And as I get ready for this holiday, I cannot help but reflect on all the blessings I have in my own life. I am starting out this New Year as a fifty and fabulous menopausal woman with so much joy and anticipation in my healthy heart…and I can say that, because I just finished walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes.

So to all the menopausal ladies out there, let’s raise a glass and have a toast. This is no longer our mother’s menopause. Let’s be loud and proud, at least during the one month that has been dedicated to us. So come and join me on the dance floor to that great song by Earth, Wind and Fire…September!

Tara Allmen, MD Credentials:
– Board Certified Gynecologist and Nationally Certified Menopause Practitioner
– New York City’s Leading Expert In Menopause
– President, North American Menopause Society Foundation
– Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
– New York City’s Top Gynecologist, 2015
– Five Star Rating From Doctor’s Choice Awards
– Five Star Rating From HealthGrades

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