Fuck IT ALL™ feat. I AM Radio

We Can't Manage What We Can't Talk About - FIA x Menopause with Menopause Made Modern and Semaine Health

October 19, 2022 IT ALL Media Episode 68
Fuck IT ALL™ feat. I AM Radio
We Can't Manage What We Can't Talk About - FIA x Menopause with Menopause Made Modern and Semaine Health
Show Notes Transcript

HOT DAMN - It’s Menopause Month! Is anyone else sweating?

You become a woman when you get a period, and you become invisible when you stop having one. In talking to SO MANY WOMEN, this is something we’ve heard time and time again...  that got us thinking, we need to dive deeper than hot flashes and mood swings and dispel the taboo around the "change." So we called in the experts!

This episode is dedicated to visibility across womanhood, and specifically what happens both inside our bodies, and outside in the world - when we experience menopause…. or, perimenopause for that matter.  (If you're thinking, WTF is perimenopause - that was us too! All answers are revealed in this ep!)

For this conversation, we are joined by our friend and partner Cath Lee, Co-Founder of Semaine Health; and Kamili Wilson, Co-Founder & CEO of the movement and community  Menopause Made Modern.

Press play to listen to this narrative rewrite on Menopause!

Resources from this Episode:
Menopause Made Modern - A modern menopause resource to help make your journey easier

Semaine Health - A health and wellness company that takes women’s pain seriously, providing natural, plant-based products that have been rigorously researched and can be taken without a prescription. Shop Semaine, and use ITALLMEDIA promo code for 20% off your first order.


What Fresh Hell Is This? Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You by Heather Corinna

North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

This is an IT ALL Media Production. If you like what you hear, follow along at ITALLMedia.co and @itallmedia on Instagram and TikTok.

We are a women-centered media company rewriting the narrative on modern womanhood through story and collaboration.

We're glad you're here.

Katie:

This conversation could not come at a more perfect time. Yesterday Katie and I were masterminding with, um, two other women that we, we meet with weekly and one of them jumps in the call and we do like wins and answered prayers and she's like, You know what? I'm grateful for Perry Menopause. And the fact that I learned it's a thing and I know I'm talking about it, and every other woman in my life is going through it. And we were like, we just had this huge smile cry, like go across our face like we got the episode for you baby. So it, it is seemingly just becoming, even since we all have met and started this more and more and more present in our conversations

Kamili:

so for.

Katie:

I'm going to kick us off and get us introduced. All right. You become a woman when you get a period, so they say, and you become invisible when you stop having one. And in talking to so many women, this is something we've heard time and time again, and it got us thinking and talking to some very, very special women that we have joining us today. our goal is to talk about visibility across womanhood and specifically what happens both inside our bodies and outside in the world when we experience menopause or perimenopause for that matter. And if you like us cut to, you know, six months ago or saying, What the fuck is that? Stay tuned cuz we're about to tell you. Joining us, this is Casey. Let Gordon and. Katie Mullins of it all media, and we have our friend and partner Catholic co-founder of Samma Health and a new partner on board, Camille Wilson, founder and CEO of the Movement and Community. Menopause made modern as a home for the new stories that define us in conversations women want to have. We have never been more excited to say this sentence. We love menopause. Let's talk about it. Things I never thought I would say, but here we Okay. Um, so Camilla, I feel like you're gonna be the expert in the room here, given that the whole company is menopause made modern. So tell us a little bit, just tell us your founder story and how, I think you said you were fueled by indignant frustration. That developed into obsessive passion. So let's start there.

Kamili:

Yeah. So let's start there. So, definitely indignant, indignant, um, frustration. So I'm true Gen X. I am, I'm 48 years old, soon to be 49, and I started experiencing my first sim symptoms related to perimenopause at the age of 40. And really was not prepared for it. I did not, um, know what was happening to my body. I was experiencing a series of symptoms it seemed month to month that were very unusual changes in my cycle, and I'd always been pretty regular. Hormonal acne. But one of the, the things that I think set me back most was I was experiencing like this hormonal rage, this rage and, and really extreme moodiness, but it's not extreme to call it rage. And it was showing up in the workplace. Making me feel very vulnerable. I am an executive. My day job is an executive in a nonprofit organization. And so I was feeling very exposed, very vulnerable, very scared, and it set me on this track to find out what was going on with me. And so in true Gen X fashion, I went to Google and started putting in the symptoms that I was experiencing. And. Pretty quickly was able to piece together on my own that I was likely going through per menopause and where the indignant frustration came from was that I was 11 years old when I started my period, and I started seeing an ob gyn when I was 13 years old on a pretty regular and consistent basis. And after decades of having a relationship with an OB gyn, I was completely unprepared for peri. Completely unprepared. And so, um, set me off to, to do my own learning and insight, right? What's going on with my body? How can I manage it? Are pharmaceuticals required or can I address some of these things through lifestyle and diet change? Not easy, but I really wanted to understand I started out in my search and my quest thinking that there wasn't information on menopause and perimenopause. And the reality is there's an overwhelming amount of information when you go to Google. And so it can be really even more frustrating to kind of sift through the millions and millions of search results to know and find what's. To you and to your own personal experience and, and what's going on with you. And so that's ultimately what led me to found menopause made modern, um, which we are a digital platform featuring information, resources, and tips on. Perimenopause and menopause. And we specialize in content tailored for women of color who have historically been absent from the menopause narratives, whether it's as practitioners in the space or in firsthand storytelling. And so that's what, um, I sought out that I was seeking for my own experience. And so it's is what I set out to create. And menopause made modern. Something I

Katie:

wanna touch on there is that you said about the storytelling and as we've had so many of these conversations, ka, I know in our conversations that we've talked about other elements of women's health and across, you know, our life cycle is that, There's not always the, just like you said, deficit of information. There's a deficit of approachable information where we see ourselves not just as a patient, but as a woman or as a person that is experiencing this. And then I think that the other layer, like you said, a woman of color, I mean, in the healthcare system, we know that, um, I think it was, what was it last year that the first medical drawing of an African American woman captured. in the 2020s. And so when we're talking about that in general, and then when I think menopause I know we talked about this the first time, it's like you think of the old white lady with the gray hair and that she's like somebody's grandma. And so I can only imagine as you start experiencing this seeking information, only seeing that it's patient information, not human information, and it's being told from the medical professionals down not to each other,

Kamili:

That's. That's right. And, and, and just to your point, representation matters. I mean, it's incredibly powerful and validating when you see yourself reflected Right. In stories. And, and to your point, it's, it's not just absent from menopause, which is, is slowly changing, but from healthcare in general and how women are seen and not seen in women of color in particular in the healthcare system. Absolutely. Excellent point. Yeah.

Cath:

It's something that, it's a common theme for everything related with women's health. The lack of information, the misinformation, the top down information, the lack of accessibility for some and just. The shame that comes around with our health in general, whether that is talking about periods or whether that's talking about menopause or anything else that we experience. And of course that always goes double and triple for women of color, especially black women. And thank goodness Elli Gen Xers, they're the ones that are really pushing. I, I do feel like our parents and baby boomers, unfortunately our moms didn't have the information. And it's was very taboo. You kind of said under your breath, Oh, you know, I'm like, I'm sweating too much. I'm having hot flashes. And that was kind of it, right? And I do think Gen Xers are making that difference of saying, Hey, first of all, we're not seeing ourselves represented in this. Like, you're not a gray haired grandmother. Once you're in very menopause. And, and then, um, also demanding more information. So I think the tide is turning, but I, I think it takes people like you, Camilla, to make that happen.

Kamili:

Yeah. Speaking about Camillia, I was gonna say that when we first met you, you were telling us about

Katie:

how in your

Kamili:

upbringing sitting around the dinner table that nothing was off limits, and I really love

Katie:

how you bring that vulnerability and remove so much of the taboo to your storytelling into your

Kamili:

platform. Could you speak a little bit more to

Katie:

that, just about like how you grew up and how you approached

Kamili:

all of this? Yeah, thank you. I actually, I don't, I don't know any better. Right. I, um, I'm transparent to a fault, but, but I, I, candidly, I do do consider it a privilege and an honor. I grew up in a household where we did have dinner around the table as a family Monday through Friday, and that's where we had family conversations and my parents. Encouraged us to talk about whatever we wanted. There was nothing that was off limits at the dinner table. And in hindsight, I realized what a privilege that is and how incredibly powerful it is. And it is the sense of mentality that I bring to most things. But I certainly brought to my menopause work because also a concept doing diversity work off and on throughout my career is we can't manage what we can't talk. Right? And so if, half the global population is experiencing this biological phenomenon and we aren't talking about it, right? That's, that's problematic, right? And so, of course everyone who experiences menopause does not have such an, an extreme or life impacting experience, but many of us do. And so it's important that, um, You know, when we're talking about women's reproductive health, right? It's not just menopause. It's typically taboo to talk about women's reproductive health that is women's health. And so, mm-hmm. it's just in the same spirit of challenging and tearing down all of those taboos and those barriers around talking about our health and when we get to a certain life stage. It is largely focused on menopause transition or perimenopause. We spend, we can spend many of us up to several years in perimenopause, which is the period before menopause. Um, you know, transitioning, going through, experiencing. A number of symptoms that can be life altering. So it's really important, I think, to talk about those things. Some, some are, are, um, uncomfortable and not right. The sexiest things like hot flashes night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, right? These aren't things we're not necessarily experienced or comfortable talking about in open forums, but, But I, but we have to kind of push the envelope and, and start to talk about these things because it's affecting women's quality of life. It's affecting quality. Absolutely.

Katie:

For those people that are listening that I, I think at least like me up until recently, it's like we hear menopause, we hear the word prairie menopause. For those that may not know what exactly is menopause, what happens when women enter perimenopause and then ultimately go through the transition of menopause. Sure.

Kamili:

Such an important question and a distinction to make, which I learned myself. So menopause is actually one day in. Menopause is is marked after 12 consecutive months of not having your period that is menopause after which you are postmenopausal. Okay? So, the, the period that most women, individual. Are familiar with in terms of experiencing the symptoms? A lot of life changes is perimenopause and that can last a few months up to several years. And you can experience a range of symptoms. I, myself, am now in my. Sixth year of perimenopause and have experienced a range of symptoms everywhere from hot flashes, which up to 80% of all individuals going through menopause transition or perimenopause will experience hot flashes. As to the, as I mentioned earlier, the, the mood swings, the rage, the hormonal acne. Vaginal dryness, eye dryness, dryness in general, changes in my hair, texture, going to very dry and brittle. So these are things that, and they, and they, they typically have come right on the heels of each other. And so, um, it's a lot to process. A lot to process and figure out how to adapt to, um, To what, what is can be a significant life change for, for many of us. And

Cath:

there's so many symptoms, right, that like most women don't even realize they've been in per menopause. That's right. For a couple of years until they think I'm going crazy or my body's falling apart, or I'm dying because like we've been talking about, we're not told about this. So it's not until William women are really desperate that they go to their doctor to figure out what's going on, and then they have. Still educate themselves. Go to Dr. Google like Camilla did, and figure out what this is all about and it's crazy because half the population are really more than half the population is going to go through this at some point. And why does it take us having to actually. Go through it and feel like we're losing our minds to actually hear about it

Kamili:

and learn about it. That's right. I just wanted to add that we've been harping on Gen X, but it's important for millennial women who started turning 40 and 20, 21, some of you may be starting to experience symptoms and not understand what's going on, but given that it can last up to 10 years before actual menopause transition, it's likely that many millennial women will begin to start experiencing perimenopause and menopause transition within the next few years.

Cath:

I am a geriatric millennial and I know it's coming but I'm still on hormonal birth control, which does kind of tend to superficially hide some of the symptoms, but I totally agree. I think, you know, the only reason I talk about menopause with my friends who are around my age is because of my company and what we're doing before then. I think I had one friend who was potentially going through early menopause in her mid thirties. She was the only other person I had talked to about it, so agreed. US millennials have to get.

Katie:

Yeah. Ka that's a great thought there. Can you tell us what I know, Samine, we've had so many conversations here on the podcast about the products that you're bringing, these all natural products that you're bringing to women and mens across their life stages and hormonal life stages. Can you talk about why menopause became important to you all? and what is the product you're bringing to market?

Cath:

Yeah, so our menopause essentials is technically our fourth product, but in our minds it was really our second product because we launched with our PMs and period support because my sister and I both have endometriosis. We've always struggled with painful periods

Kamili:

That was

Cath:

our baby. But even before we had that product, when we were talking to our friends and our family members, They would be like, Okay, I don't need your PMs and period support. I need something for menopause and per menopause, like right away. That's what we heard. I remember so many of them were like, As soon as you make your menopause product, please let me be your Guinea pig. And so we thought that was gonna be our second product. It ended up we Had to go along with what some of the retailers wanted, which is why we put out our hormone balance and our urinary tract support first. But that being said, the menopause product is our baby just as much as our PMs and period support was because there's so much parallel between dealing with your period and also dealing with perimenopause and menopause because so few women.

Kamili:

Know

Cath:

if they don't, if they know what it is, they don't really know what options are there for them, or they just think it's hormonal therapy, are they just gonna be miserable for 10 years? You know, there's not the thought of like, Hey, how can I educate myself and learn from other women and what am I gonna do about that? And so just like our PMs and period support and our other products, The whole idea behind our menopause essentials is to offer a plant-based solution that helps with night sweats, that helps, um, with hot flashes, that helps with mood swings and brain fog. And it's something you can take if you decide to do hormone therapy, it's something you can take if you decide not to do that. And it was just so important for us, like with all our products that were offering. Women another option. Yeah. You know, it's like we have so few options with period issues. It's usually hormonal birth controls treated like a bandaid. And then with menopause, a lot of women do end up doing hormone therapy, but a lot of women just kind of suck up the symptoms. Yeah. And don't even think about trying to do. Anything to help, cuz they don't think there's anything out there that will help them. Are they downplay the severity of their symptoms because that's what they're used to doing as women as coming second in the family and in society. And so we see our products is not just trying to like push an item to customers. It really is the education of bringing awareness to your health and being able to ask for more than what's out there. Right. Yeah,

Katie:

I've been thinking about this a lot as we've delved into the women's health conversation and I just wanna play back a couple things that I've observed and maybe this can be a sparring point for, for us to chat around. So, Womanhood is defined by, So in the healthcare system, it's tied to reproductive health. That's women's health is reproductive health. And that's, you know, pleasure and wellness is seen as secondary, it's seen it all. If it's seen at all. Yeah. So that's one. Women are told in every message we're getting that youth is desirable. So anti-aging products that making sure that we seem as young as possible. And so the idea that we become a woman when we get our periods, it ties into now you can have a child. And then when that, So then that plays along with this healthcare system and everything that we're throughout our lives being told is, you're most desirable and valuable when you're young. Yet we all know that across our lives we only become, have more knowledge, more experience. We're working later in our lives than we ever had. We're more educated. Many of us are the breadwinners I something like 70% of women will be the breadwinners across the course of their career. So we are occupying these spaces where, One, what we look like doesn't and shouldn't matter, and two youth actually isn't the most valuable thing there. It's our experience. And yet we go, periods are private hydro tampons, heaven forbid, somebody know it's that time of the month. All of these messages, and then you go through the transition in which you no longer are having a period tied to the thing of reproduction. and that signifies that you're getting old, so you better be quiet about it. Cause that's embarrassing. And I just can't imagine what that feels like As somebody, I was a part of a focus group maybe a year ago, and she said the worst part of getting older is not that we're seen differently. It's not that we're seen at all.

Kamili:

Yeah. There is this, this very real, experience of invisibility that many women experience as we get older. And it is so much of our. Value through society's eyes, right? Our value in our worth has been tied to our sexuality and or ability to reproduce. And so it's important that we, that we start challenging those narratives, right? That there, but there's just so many layer. To it that the taboo of women's health, the taboo of menopause, the taboo of aging and, fear that's rooted in mortality. But, you know, it all, it does harken back to we can't manage, for me, we can't manage what we can't talk about. And so how do we start to have these discussions like the ones we're having today? Right. And maybe through the modeling of open discussions we give others courage to start having discussions even in their own little circles, right? I think that's a start. And we have to be willing to talk about these things, in our own little circles, and then connecting those dots outwardly, if we're gonna change.

Cath:

Absolutely. It's like what you're doing on menopause made modern. How wonderful is that? Putting it out there, us doing this podcast together, you know, that's doing the work. Another random thought that popped in my mind. I actually find so much good and positive information on menopause on TikTok. I don't know if you guys are as obsessed with TikTok as I am and it's not just there. There are great doctors and nurses on there too talking about it. But I'm more interested in just women talking through their experiences and normalizing. That experience and not being embarrassed by it, I think that is what's so inspiring and I feel the same as happening with periods too, but of course my interest is more towards some menopause at this point. Cuz it, it really is just talking about it. I also am reading, it's a great book called, What fresh hell, and it is amazing. It is a wonderful resource for anybody who's going through per menopause or menopause and she really helps break it down, breaking it down what it's like guarding through per menopause and patriarchy and a racist society. She touches on all those points. It's not just kind of this like, resource medical. In a vacuum and I think that's super helpful. And I've been reading it like I'll go to the park and read it and, or like just whenever like my friends are around, I have the book out and so many of my friends and I have had discussions and this is male friends and female friends about it cuz it's right on my coffee table. And I think just little things like that, and it's so funny cuz it's. Whereas, like I find on the period side of things, maybe people who aren't used to talking about periods, they might like get tripped up a little bit and try to overcome their embarrassment to talk about it. Whereas menopause, I find most people, they're not even at that point yet. They don't even really know what it is. You know, so they're not, they're not even ready to get embarrassed. They're like, Oh, I'm like, let's talk about this. And they're like, Yeah, what is this? What are we talking about? I mean, that, that alone just proves that we just need to talk about it as much as possible and not talk about it. And like silly goofy, like, Oh, there's, there's, what's her face? Having her personal summers again, I think it. Been made fun of too much definitely by TV and movies and not given enough gravitas, to it where we can have serious discussions and real discussions

Kamili:

about it. Ka I think you made an important point about talking to your friends. It's women and men, right? Because so many relat. Two are impacted during menopause transition affecting, you know, women's libido, vaginal dryness, which can lead to painful sex, and then the avoidance of intercourse. And this is one of those areas that is really important for me to talk about and, and try to educate more women around is the importance of hydrating lubricating. Moisturizing your vaginal walls particularly if a long and healthy active sexual sex life is important to you. The only way to really maintain that is to hydrate our vagina and to also practice it. And, I've heard many doctors always gyn say, Use it or lose it. But that's something that for some. They reach this life stage and they've had all the sex that they're ever interested in having. That's not me Sure. and so there are other women who, you know, is, is Dr. Brandy, one of the OBGYNs I've interviewed quite a few times, has said good sex is, self-care, right? Sexual health is self-care. And so absolutely, I think it's, Talking about things like vaginal dryness, which on the surface can be very off putting, but is important for both, both men and women.

Katie:

I think that's been something that has been enlightening or an aha moment for me as we've started to have more of these conversations around women's health. Is, women's health is men's health too. I mean, certainly when we talk about on the reproductive front, but I. I even look at my own four walls. My husband and I, as I've started one of our partners that will be sharing more content with the agenda period. It's a cycle tracking system. And as we've come to just know more about our bodies and our cycles, the role that has in my day to day life, for me to be able to know where I'm at in my cycle, the empowerment that I feel to be able to communicate that, my partner, understanding that, and as we then progress in our lives. Into this next stage, perimenopause or menopause, to be able to have them as a, a confidant in this and not have to have that alone and to foster what is a, a healthy sex life look like in this stage. because a consensual happy sex life means that both parties are getting pleasure from this. And if that means that 50% of the equation no longer works in the same way, how are we not like that? To me, just the fact that it seemed like so othered. Oh no, that's, that's just you all to figure out in the privacy and, and hope you figure out some, like I'm baffled that it has taken this long for us to have more honest conversations. About this because seemingly when it affects men's sex lives, it does become a bit more mainstream and this seems like something that would have men. We talked about

Kamili:

and something I've learned sadly only and maybe in the last 10 years is that intimacy is so much more than just sex.

Katie:

It's so much more than your sex life and being able to share that vulnerability of what your body's going through or,

Kamili:

Having your partner understand your why. Mm-hmm. as to why, like, maybe sex isn't great this week, but let me do what I need to do in order to get to a better place.

Katie:

And, and be with me in that journey.

Kamili:

Um, Right. I just think that is so

Katie:

imperative to the overall health of your relationship and mental

Kamili:

health as well, or as a woman. Yeah. Being able to say yeah, we need the lu. Right. It's like never having needed it before. And then there being kind of maybe this internal stigma that, Oh, now I need lube. Is there something wrong with you where your body's age, you're not producing your sex hormones the same way and the lube will help you have a pleasurable experience. Right. And talking to your partner and having them understand that as well. I mean, we've got a long ways to go, but definitely starting to have those conversations. In ways that don't shame and embarrass or mock. Yeah.

Katie:

Completely. Completely. Um, what I'm curious, so you have a community, you have all of these women that are a part of it, that are sharing stories. I know you are, you know, bringing this knowledge. What has been like the most surprising or fun. Aspect of this, like we've just talked about all like the big heavy stuff, but like, what's like the, the like, damn, didn't see that coming.

Kamili:

Um, so I wouldn't say there's not, there's not so much. I didn't see that coming so much as I am. I continue to be struck by how many women. Have this conversation or haven't had this conversation with their mothers or relatives in their family, myself included. Right? Even to be someone who came from, who was a part of such a family that talked about everything openly. My mother's menopause experience wasn't something she talked to me about because she had a hysterectomy at an early age, right? And so she pretty much stopped tracking what was going on with her after that. And so when I was time for me to have a conversation with her about what I was experiencing, she was completely unprepared or and unable to have that discussion. And so it is one of the questions that I typically embed into all of my interviews with folks. I'm excited about, the one I'm writing up now on the Samine Sisters. Um, but to really understand how. How menopause was talked about or not in their families growing up and how they observed their female relatives, mothers, aunts, sisters go through it. But I would say the majority, a good 90%. Get to menopause, get to perimenopause, and it's not something that they've discussed, in their families with their mothers, with their female relatives. And I think that's huge opportunity, right? Because we do tend to spend a lot of time talking about our periods. They will say are others, touched on their periods or, tampon or pads or now you can get pregnant. Right? At least there was some conversation, there was some conversation around, periods in what to expect, where compared to menopause, 90% get there and have never had the discuss. So this brings up a

Katie:

good point. And I told Katie this yesterday. We were working on some notes, and I told her, I don't know if it's offensive to ask somebody if they're in menopause or if they've had menopause. Like I, I don't, because in my family, and this wasn't maybe something like overtly said, but the idea of being youthful was desirable. Yeah. Beautiful. And so to say to a woman of a certain age, do you still have a period or have you had repo like that feel? And I mean, that may be something that we just generally don't ask you. I don't know. Maybe this is, this is us learning in public right now, but that to me it's like the fact that that even has like a shame or taboo around asking something that's just like a biological change in one's body. That to me says that there's something there.

Kamili:

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Cath:

Yeah, that I was, I was gonna say like the, I think, um, I've had that is issue. I've run into that issue with our product. Like if we're working with an influencer or someone, I'm like, Would you like to try our PMs? And would, But a lot of times too, it is like at least you know specifically for our line of work, usually, women are so nice, cuz usually I'll be like, Oh, we have our PMs and period support product. They're like, Oh, I do not need that anymore. And then I'm like, Okay, now we got that clear. But I don't think I've ever. Approached it, you know, with a one on one conversation, not even with a family member. Now that I think about it, like being like, So the DNA tampons still, or do you do pad still? But I do find like women who have hit that menopause, that 12 month mark and are postmenopause, they seem. Much more comfortable. I think owning it whereas like I do think per menopause is really hard for all the reasons that we've already talked about. Like the support's just not there. But also it is because our society values us as a reproductive vessel, it's really emotionally hard when you are going through perimenopause because it's your body telling you what society's already been telling us as women, getting older that you're. Worthy are worth anything. It goes back to the invisibility thing. And, um, and so I do find, like I, I personally am still hesitant. Because of the society we live in. Right. I do not wanna offend anybody.

Kamili:

Of course. Yeah. And I've found that it honestly, it, it, it just depends. Some, some women are offended by it and it's, it's, you know, akin to asking their age, which, you know, some of us don't care and we've flaunt our age. Right. I've found, because I'm smack dab in the menopause space. Right. Um, it has been harder than I would've liked. To get women comfortable with me featuring their stories. Very candidly on the website, they're more inclined to talk about it. Right. Um, in an intimate setting. And I'm good with that too. But, being put on display, so to speak, and having that, it's, it's been more challenging than I would've hoped. And the reality is it's just different. For every woman. So I just, I always just approaches. Do you mind my asking if you're still actively perimenopausal or are you postmenopausal and, and then they get to decide, but you know, do you mind my asking? Right. Yeah. Here's another question on the opposite, again, learning in public on the

Katie:

opposite side of the spectrum. Kathy, you brought up that you had a friend in her mid thirties that had started per menopause, and I know,

Kamili:

It starts often in early forties. Als you experience, is it possible to still get pregnant if you're showing symptoms

Katie:

of per.

Kamili:

Absolutely. Yes. Yes.

Cath:

It's a, it's, it's a spectrum, right? But as long as you are still getting your period, So most of us will experience what's called gradual menopause, right? We are gonna go through perimenopause. It's, it can be anywhere from like, Two to 10 years. And, um, there is sudden menopause that usually involve surgery, a hysterectomy, um, which of course, and obviously you cannot get pregnant, but yes, even going through period menopause, you can get pregnant. And, um, I think that's, that just goes further into like what we're talking about, why we need to have these discussions because most women don't know that or they're not clear. Mm-hmm.

Kamili:

on that. and it really is, you should, if you're sexually active, And want to avoid getting pregnant, then you should be using some form of birth control for you until you have had 12 consecutive months of no period. Even if you've been like, Oh, six months, no. Period. I'm safe. Mm, no, you, you're technically still per menopausal and you, you could get

pregnant.

Cath:

I have a friend who, she was on her 11th month of not having a period, and then she got her period She was so mad. She was so I would be too, She literally

Kamili:

went almost a year without a period. Then it reset. So it literally resets from then. Yeah. Oh my gosh. It's the way, like

Cath:

we've been texting about it a lot, but she was, The way I learned about it was she was like, Well, you remember how like almost a year ago, I said, I didn't need your PMs in period support anymore and I just needed your menopause. And I was like, Yeah. She was like, Yeah, I'm gonna need to start up my subscription for the PMs.

Kamili:

Talk about

Cath:

who go. Right. Yep. Absolute fragile.

Katie:

So something that you've mentioned here around hysterectomies. Mm-hmm. and menopause. And I think that's something that my experience, um, my mom had a hysterectomy in her early forties, um, and then didn't opt for hormone therapy. And then now in her early sixties, I'm sure within that period would have or has experienced menopause. I'm not sure exactly how we say that when there's not a period to be had. With the hysterectomy. So can you all give some insight into there because that is a blind spot for.

Kamili:

So when you have a full hysterectomy, you are postmenopausal, right? Okay. So, so in that moment you are, Yes. So, but if you, if you just have a uterine hysterectomy, you still have your ovaries intact, you can still get your cycle right. You're not technically post-menopausal. So you still do have to, have to be careful. But There are some women who do experience early surgical onset menopause, and they do have reproductive issues where they do have to have their reproductive systems removed and will experience surgical onset menopause,

Cath:

And if you still have your ovaries intact, this is painting with a very broad brush. And let's say you get a partial hysterectomy, maybe in your thirties, you, you have a higher chance of going into perimenopause earlier than you would. But once again, broad brush, everybody is different.

Katie:

What are some things that when you think about someone that's initially experiencing premenopause symptoms, there's that inkling of like, Okay, I'm feeling outta my body. I'm feeling whether it's physically or like you mentioned, emotionally, hormonally. Where do outside of menopause made modern.com? Go join there. But where do you go to your doctor and start talking about this? I mean, I know both of you mentioned that the medical system often isn't proactively leading in this space, it sounds like it's more something you go in and then they're like, Yeah, maybe. So what are some of the things that we do as we start to observe that our bodies might be. Entering into a menopausal phase.

Cath:

I think it's two prong. I think you, you still go to your doctor now if you have a doctor that dismisses you. This is so annoying. But find a new doctor. I know that's much easier said than done. especially with extreme brain fog moods, well just, All the extremes. Hot flashes. I mean, this is affecting your quality of life. It is important to talk to your doctor about it and really list out what you need help with. Um, but then also I think it is finding resources like menopause made modern, talking to other women, seeing what works for them, you know, and, and maybe you're deciding, you don't know whether or not to go on hrts or hts and, um, you know, talking to. Just hormone therapy. Yeah. Whether or not you wanna do hormone therapy and learn from other women. I think just because the way the medical system's set up, we can't be completely dependent on them, even if you have a really good doctor. And I think another part too is like, Not just educating how you can help your symptoms, but educating people around you of what's going on with you. Just like we were talking about how tracking your cycle's so important because week by week we change, as women we need different things. We need different amounts of rest, we need different foods, we need different amounts of foods. The same thing is with per menopause. The more you can be aware and in touch with your body and then also vocalize that to the people around you, I think is just as important. Dealing

Kamili:

with the symptoms. Absolutely. And I would just add that it is important to talk to your doctor, though they won't always have answers, but, I wholly reinforce what Kath said is that if you don't feel like you're being helped by them or you're being dismissed, find a new doctor and you can go on the North American Menopause Society has a locator, a ZIP code locator. Where you can type in your zip code and find a NAMS certified practitioner. So someone who has a certified menopause practitioner in your area, they're still building that reservoir. But, it is a good place to start. One of the stats that blew my mind when I first started doing my own research around this is only 20% of b GYNs have access to menopause education in re. 20% of ob GYNs have menopause training during residency. So we still have a long way to go. So holding that information, you, you might not be so struck. When and if your doctor is unprepared to help you, but you'll have that context. And the other thing that blew my mind was, yes, it's helpful and important to have relationships with, with ob GYNs and, and healthcare practitioners, but we also need other resources. Because only 30% of women in this country have relationships with OB GYNs. So that was like wow. Assumption that I had that oh yes, saw women go for OB again. But, many are going to general practitioners. If any medical professional at all. And so it really does behoove us to, try to have more resources that are objective and accessible. Also, we do see more, and I think this was with Covid, but we would've seen it anyway, more telehealth. And digital health platforms that are dedicated to menopause and women's health and midlife and beyond. So that could be a great place to start as well. If you go to the NAMS website and you can't find, a certified practitioner in your neighborhood, then you might have better luck with te.

Katie:

You mentioned something there, Camilla, that I wanted to touch on. You had said in this country, and I realized that this conversation has been focused on the us. I'm curious just from, because you two are so much more indoctrinated into this space than Katie and I are. Is the USS and maybe Western view on menopause the same that we see globally or does it vary a lot by culture and country on how we view and treat women experiencing menopause?

Cath:

I don't have a huge an answer for this. The little sliver that I do know is, when my co-founder Matt, when he formulated our menopausal essentials, two of the ingredients, red clover and Bergamont have been used for centuries to treat menopausal symptoms in Europe and in Eastern countries. For whatever reason, I have not really caught on here. So just that little bit that I know. I feel like, more of the eastern mindset is treating the body holistically. And so in general, women's health is looked at more equally than it is here, but, it would not surprise me, of course, if we're last on the developed world's abilities to help

Kamili:

women out. So, so that's interesting. Came at it from kind of a treatment perspective, just in terms of public domain. What I've observed is the UK is absolutely leading in terms of, um, menopause as a public health concern and an is and a real issue affecting women. And, you know, and I've spoken to some of the, the women, the influencers working in this space in the uk who. Are a bit skeptical at some of the advances. They do have a national workplace policy, but compared to the US where we're not even talking about it in terms of impact on the work workforce. Right. They are light years ahead. So, they, it is part more a part of their kind of, Public discourse. Um you see it covered more in editorial and also from a policy perspective, they are having more policy oriented discussions, the impact on women leaving the workforce at such a critical age, right? And, and period of transition from maybe management to executive or leadership. They have been tracking that data wise much more consistently from anything that I've seen than we have been here in the. Culturally I've only had the opportunity to talk to a handful of women around the world, and I will say from those cultural perspectives, menopause still tends to be a taboo associated with, with aging. And so, yeah. The,

Katie:

the piece that you mentioned there, and I go back to the top of the conversation, you said you were an executive and you're sitting here experiencing. A health biological change that I can imagine had impact on Not your knowledge, but like your ability to show up and do your job. Yeah. As, as you would want to, whether it's physically not feeling great in this body because of, you know, the hot flashes or physiological changes, but also mentally, I mean, I, I have anxiety and, and clinical anxiety and that in itself, I know it's impact and so when I think about like that rage or those hormones and that exacerbated, I can't imagine trying to occupy these places of power and often masculine power when we're talking about women executives because we are such, a small percentage. And having, to show up one way while masking so much. And then the residual and ripple mental

Kamili:

effects. Oh yeah. It, it's a real issue and I feel, privileged to to have been in the aging services space where there's a little bit more grace and I think expectation, because I've been able to openly model. How I'm experienced. I will say I, I work for a male and sometimes he's visibly uncomfortable, but he's never discouraged me and I'll say, Oh, I'm sorry, I'm having a bit of brain fog. Right. I've lost my train of thought. Oh, you didn't get enough sleep? Well, well, no, it's the hormones I'm going through menopause and Awesome. It's an uncomfortable laugh, but it's so important. And every time, right? Oh, um, just feeling just a little frazzled today. Oh overwhelmed. Oh. It's menopausal anxiety, right? And just trying to normalize it. The other person doesn't always have to have a response or they're not always gonna have a, you know, they may seem, it may land on them in, in a way that's uncomfortable. But I would say, you know, that's a start to kind of test the boundaries of the context in, which you're in now. I say that and I know that there are women who work in environments where they. You know, Rather cut off their right arm than admit out loud that they're being affected by hormonal changes. Right? It could have very real implications, for their ability to grow in advance. For me, it slowed me down right? It, caused me to question, I was on a very aggressive, assertive growth trajectory that I've taken. Off up. Mm. Um, because the pressure of masking the added challenges that I was juggling with menopause was just, were just too great. It was too great for me to, juggle and master all at one time. And it has left a lot of people questioning. I've had people questioning, Oh, have I lost my ambition? Have I, who, who've actually said that to me out loud and, Whoa, you can't see it. But I

Cath:

just did the biggest eye roll for you.

Kamili:

They don't know about menopause made modern yet clearly. Cause No, I haven't lost my ambition. It's just been refocused re-channel, um, into a different passion that. That really this conversation, this moment in time is so important. I feel drawn and compelled to use my voice in any way that will help make it better. Um, because there are, there are treatments that can help women have a better quality of life, that can help families relationships. Um, menopause does not have to be this like negative. Death, death sentence that defines the second half of your life. It's, it, it can be a period of transformation and powerful transformation, but we need the information, We need the tools and the resources, um, and then to be able to apply them.

Cath:

And here's the thing, like this is what gets me excited is the reason why, You know, we, we say, Oh, isn't this horrible? We're experienced perimenopause, menopause, when we as women are usually at the peak, are getting to the peak of our careers. What makes menopause symptoms worse? It's stress. So, Our menopause symptoms are getting worse. Yes, that sucks for us, but here's why it doubly sucks for us. It's because I'm getting on my soapbox again. We are functioning in a patriarchy. We are functioning in a capitalistic patriarchy that, um, prioritizes the hustle, the push through, the not listening to your body. If more women were doing what Camille was doing, and eventually more people. I think we could change the way we run our lives and run our society and have work culture because I, I think what we forget so easily, cuz we've been in it our whole lives, is that just because we've been taught that the hustle and ambition is what gets things. Done. That's only because we're in a capitalistic society and it's clearly not really working for us. We're all falling apart. you know, this isn't, it's not like, Oh, but capitalism is great. It's sure there's good parts about it, but it's, it's not working for us as a society. I think if we stopped. Doing the, having the structure that we do, You know, having six weeks of maternity leave and then jumping back into work. I mean, that is, that breaks women, That breaks families. That's insane. You know? And that's just one example of how this is not working for us. And it's not just women, it's for men too. And I think if we could once again, listen to ourselves and communicate just like Camila's doing, like if more of us do that, I think we will see a shift in something better than what we're dealing with. Right. Yeah,

Kamili:

to build onto that path, I think of Camil, just looking at you like passion,

Katie:

empathy, and like the need to be whole and well, caused you to become an entrepreneur and build this great business that. Out there to help

Kamili:

women and women of color.

Katie:

And I think like really, like you've lost

Cath:

ambition. Like you turned around and right down the opposite.

Katie:

Exactly. And not with the hustle mindset. You did it with empathy and passion. And that is As you should. As you should. Yes. I'm over here like chills and tears welling up because we talk about, Women do not feel seen and valued and able to thrive in the systems that run our lives today at work, at home, and in our communities. And Kath, what you said, when we create a critical mass, Of another way. It is scary, right? Katie always says, First they call you crazy. Then they call you for advice. And right now, okay, I think there's a lot of us that are feeling stepping out into that space of saying, We want to do another way and we're gonna, we're going to build. Just as big. We are gonna keep that ambition, but we're gonna channel it. And my hope from this is that anyone listening sees that, the four of us here, we are all entrepreneurs. We are all women who have very traditionally on the mass. Skill in check boxes, accomplished careers. It's not that we couldn't, it is that we chose not to. We are stepping aside to create something different. And if you feel compelled, to go deeper with this, we invite you to continue to follow along with our rewrites on women's health. Camille Wilson of Menopause made modern. Please go check out menopause made modern.com. There's a, downloadable there that you can get on the email list. You can join that community. It's gonna be the best thing for you to do, to start to immerse yourself in this par menopausal, and menopausal content. And then Kathleen. You, Jim of Simone Health. For anyone listening, head over to samine health.com. Check out all of their products. As she mentioned, they have four products live and we started, you had two products, and so even in the past several months, we have just seen you continue to challenge the, the status quo and give women more options. We have their PMs and period. For, we have their daily supplement, their menopause supplement, and their UTI products. So sain health.com. Of course, you can use the code in all media, get you a little promo there, And check out our show notes. This is one that, I really invite all of you to go deeper in the show notes. Check out, we'll be linking to what fresh hell is this. We'll be linking to the NAMS website as well as both, menopause made modern and. If you like what you heard today, it all media do co slash join. That is your number one way to stay up to date on all our content coming out and be a part of the systems that we're rewriting. I'm Casey, like Gordon, and this is the fuck it all podcast. And we are saying FIA does menopause. Yeah.