Karen Giblin, president and founder of Red Hot Mamas, on new approaches to menopause.
Has the menopausal experience changed through the years?
ďAbsolutely. I came from a generation that witnessed Edith Bunker going through menopause in ĎAll in the Family.í Archie, her husband, said she even became crazier than before. Many of us were led to believe that menopause signified menopause madness. I heard stories in my family about Aunt Maria going crazy. But those perceptions go way back in history when it was thought that menopause led to unpredictable behavior, which led to the misperception that women go crazy at the time of menopause. That is probably why there was less talk about it during our mothersí and grandmothersí generations. Why bring up the subject when it was so frowned upon?Ē
What misconceptions about menopause remain?
ďThat menopause is something you should dread. Itís a normal event that happens to every woman if she lives long enough. Itís our registered trademark of being a woman. It does have added bonuses. For me, it meant relief of chronic pelvic pain and it opened up more freedom and a time of self-discovery. Menopause does have its challenges, and thatís why itís important to take charge of it before it takes charge of you. You can do this by having a thorough knowledge of what to expect before it arrives and how to manage its course. However, personally, it feels great to have more wisdom behind me, more freedom, never having to store a yearís supply of sanitary items in my bathroom closet and knowing that my hormones have settled down and that I now feel even better than I ever have before.Ē
Whatís your advice to women going through menopause?
ďShift your outlook about menopause: Discard old myths, keep a proper perspective, know your body and recognize the changes it may go through. Have a clear understanding of available options to help you manage your symptoms, and pay attention to your health through good nutrition and exercise. Also, donít forget to educate your loved ones as well, as they may feel handicapped in not knowing how to support you through the menopause transition. Lastly, remember there are millions of Red Hot Mamas out there like you. And there is a commonality among you. Itís not the end of the road. Itís the beginning of exciting new times ahead.Ē