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a woman sits on a bench with her legs crossed, smiling at the camera.
Nina Collins
October 13, 2022

5 Things I Know About Menopause

I’d like to share some of the experiences that have surprised me the most.

It’s frustrating to reach the incredible wisdom of your 50s and 60s (which is true; we feel wiser and more peaceful than ever before) and not be able to retrieve nouns.

What’s the first thing you see in your mind’s eye when you hear the word “menopause?” For me what pops up immediately are: 1) hot flashes and 2) an image of a gorgeous crone, a wrinkly gray haired woman wearing thick woolen layers and sitting somewhere in peaceful contemplation.

The reality is that’s just the tip of the iceberg. HuffPost recently identified 62 symptoms(!) of this major life transition, and until recently it was rarely discussed in mixed company, or really anywhere. The women at Revel, and Kindra, and all of our many partners, are trying to change that, and in that spirit I’d like to share some of the experiences and myths that have surprised me the most during this most surprising time of life:

1. Catching Your Zzz’s Can Get Harder

My entire life I slept like a baby, even through raising four kids, two divorces, and the death of my mother. A solid eight hours of sleep was something I could always count on. And then I hit age 46 and one day, out of the blue, I woke up at 4:15am. The next night the same thing happened, and the night after that, and so on. The “new normal” suddenly became random middle of the night wake-ups and an inability to fall back to sleep. 

For some women menopausal hormone therapy may offer relief from sleepless nights. But if you’d prefer an estrogen-free and doctor-recommended approach I’d recommend the Sleep Supplement from Kindra which includes melatonin and abhwagandha. Sleep is vital to our well-being, so this is a symptom you really need to tackle. Don’t let it go untreated!

2. Lube & Lotion Are Intimacy Game-Changers

The prevailing cultural narrative tells us that women age out of their sexual prime rather than into it, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I find that the women who attend our regular Monday Night Sex Chats on Revel are by and large having the best sex of their lives over the age of 40. Yes we require a bit more lube (vaginal dryness is very real as we age), and perhaps a regular vaginal moisturizer (Kindra’s Daily Vaginal Lotion is a great estrogen-free option that’s not greasy or messy to apply), but we’re finally feeling comfortable in our skin and ready to go after what we want. So the message here is: menopausal women by and large still want sex, and still enjoy it. They just may need to make some minor adjustments to their self-care routine.

3. Brain Fog is Real

It’s frustrating to reach the incredible wisdom of your 50s and 60s (which is true; we feel wiser and more peaceful than ever before) and not be able to retrieve nouns. Is this Alzheimer’s, or menopause? It’s probably just brain fog, particularly if it’s specifically nouns you can’t recall, but unfortunately it is also true that almost 2/3rds of Americans living with Alzheimer's are women. So this is a great time to focus on brain health: eat less meat & more vegetables, do Sudoku, exercise more, keep up your social connections, and get plenty of sleep! 

4. It Can Get Oh So Hot

Hot flashes are nothing like what I imagined them to be. Totally debilitating and unpredictable – the nighttime ones (often called night sweats) wake you up at all hours (and I’ve woken up so drenched that I had to jump in a shower at 3am), and the daytime ones can be so hot and uncomfortable and dizzy-making that I’ve actually found myself having to lie down in the middle of a workday. They are no joke, and what’s worse is that they can be mild for ages and then suddenly get worse. There’s no predicting. I once fully stripped down in a restaurant restroom to get some relief!

Thankfully we’ve got more options for relief than ever before! It’s essential to keep a cooling mist in your purse or by your nightstand at all times! 

5. It Really Does Get Better

I found perimenopause in my late 40s to be completely awful. I had no idea what was going on with my body or how to treat it, and I felt alone and pathetic. Then I started talking to other women, and discovering all the amazing new companies that are rushing in to fill the void, and I started to find solutions. Now, at 53, I feel better both physically and mentally than almost any other time in my life. And the older women around me tell me that it just keeps getting better. Knowledge and being proactive is everything. Ask questions, and get the help you need, because it is out there and you can feel fantastic during what has the potential to be the most liberating and exciting time of your life!

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