Menopause seems different now than it did in my mother’s generation.

menopauseDuring the 1970s, I recall seeing women in menopause in their 50s who believed they were old and frail. Most of them told me as much! Now that I am in my 50s, I often see women who are in their 80s who are vibrant and active.

Have you heard that 60 is the new 40? I know that I have, and frankly, I want to believe this, too!

What has happened over the course of the past four decades and why are women aging so differently now? If you’re going through menopause, you realize that it’s not the end of anything vital to who your really are.

I must say, I think it is almost the opposite: to me it feels like an opportunity for freedom in the many decades of my future. [Above image is Johanna Quaas, an 83-year old gymnast, and my new hero!]

menopauseMenopause is marked as the one-year anniversary of your last menstrual cycle. If you’ve already celebrated this glorious day, you are said to be post-menopausal. In perimenopause, or the multiple years leading up to the cessation of your period, your estrogen and progesterone have fallen to lower levels, and this hormonal change may put you at risk for conditions like heart disease, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease. These hormonal changes also impact a woman’s brain activity, and many of my female clients talk about concentration and memory loss in these transitory years. Some of these signs of aging don’t feel much like a celebration. [Image at left is Flo Meiler, 79 years young and a track star!]

Perhaps you have worked with your doctor and decided whether you will be using hormone replacement therapies? I am a big believer in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) because I believe it is good for both my brain and my body.

To maximize the benefits of BHRT, I also recommend that women understand the Four-Pronged Approach to Thriving in Menopause:

  1. Eat a healthy diet
  2. Take supplements as needed
  3. Get plenty of restful sleep
  4. Enjoy regular exercise

menopausePerhaps the combination of BHRT and this Four-Pronged Approach is making menopause today very different from your Grandmother’s menopause? Who knows? Perhaps 50 will become the new 83 and we can all take up gymnastics, like Johanna Quaas,  or continue playing on the school’s playground with our friends!