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Hot Flash Or Power Surge? The Women’s Health Issue No One Wants To Talk About Is Suddenly Attracting Entrepreneurs And Investors

The conversation around aging, women’s health, sexual health and menopause is changing— there is a real movement afoot to shake things up. And the world is listening. Innovative companies supporting women’s health are popping up and investment dollars are flowing in to support this long overdue movement.

On World Menopause Awareness Day, the visionaries behind Womaness brought together a group of fierce females to share their tips for taking the stigma out of female aging and their stories of entrepreneurship that are leading this female wellness revolution.

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Menopause is no longer a death sentence and 60 is no longer the end of your career, according to Kym Douglas. The television host and beauty expert, along with OBGYN and sexual health specialist Dr. Somi Javaid, registered dietician and nutritionist Keri Glassman and Founder of Braintrust, Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, offered the following advice for taking control of our own wellness:

Grab the knitting needles and crossword puzzles. Brain fog is real, says Dr. Javaid. “Mild cognitive decline” is caused by a biochemical change due to dwindling estrogen levels. And while estrogen replacement can help in certain situations, there are other approaches that have also proven beneficial. Sleep, meditation, brain games, eye hand coordination exercises, knitting, crossword puzzles – basically anything that exercises your brain – can improve brain health.

Movement can be your meditation. We all live busy lives, but we must find 15 minutes each day to move our bodies. If you’re travelling, take a brisk walk in the airport. If you’re home or in the office, try yoga or jump on the Peloton app for a quick mind and body workout.

Remember, you are a case study of one. Stop comparing yourself to your family and friends because everyone ages differently, says Glassman. Dr. Javaid recommends we stop “normalizing the abnormal” because we know our bodies better than anyone. Just because others experience something similar doesn’t mean it’s ok. Trust your gut and find a practitioner who will take your concerns seriously. And remember – just because someone has an “MD” after their name doesn’t mean they’re always right.

Take the shame out of the name. Female aging, sexual health and menopause are all taboo terms that we subconsciously (or consciously!) say in a hushed tone. We need to stop. Stop telling someone they look good for their age. Stop assuming your career trajectory has to end at a certain age. Stop being ashamed to say the words sex and menopause out loud. Educate yourself, and in turn educate others, by seeking advice from “menopause nerds” says Dr. Javaid. This community of practitioners (members of the North American Menopause Society, for example) wants to advocate for, teach, help and empower their female patients.

What goes on your body goes in your body. Just because it’s on the market doesn’t mean it’s safe. Look for products that are hormone free, gluten free and soy free. And make sure they have data behind them and have been tested for safety and efficacy. Check out the ‘Think Dirty- Shop Clean’ app to learn about potentially toxic ingredients hiding in your cosmetics and personal care products.

The Business of Menopause

As conversations around female aging become more common, entrepreneurial women are creating businesses to establish communities of like-minded women and provide much needed resources. And the smart money is there to back it up.

Alloy – This telehealth company, founded by former Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider and Seed + Mill founder Monica Molenaar, provides a telehealth network of menopause-trained doctors, FDA-approved, plant-based prescription solutions and a community for women over 40 suffering from the symptoms of menopause. The company just received $3.3 million in seed funding and will launch later this year.

HER MD – Dr. Javaid witnessed her mother’s serious cardiac issues dismissed as “stress” and vowed to become a physician who actually took the time to listen to her female patients. Around her 40th birthday, she opened HER MD, a practice for women focused on sexual health and menopause. Javaid recently received funding to expand her business and will soon be opening 15 centers around the country.

Kindra – Kindra offers a community to help women prepare for, manage and embrace the body’s natural hormonal shifts. A useful feature allows women to search for products based on their area of concern, such as brain fog, low libido, hot flashes or mood swings. One notable page on the site proudly displays, “From now on, a hot flash is no longer a hot flash, it’s a power surge.”

Nutritious Life – Glassman knows that good health isn’t just about diet and exercise. She has always considered the role relationships, stress, hormones, sleep habits and sex life also play in overall wellness. She shares that expertise through online classes that certify nutrition and wellness coaches, who can now be found in 35 countries and all 50 US states. Her business is thriving, and her online coaching certification business was recently acquired.

State of – as CEO and majority shareholder, Stacy London (yes, that Stacy London of What Not to Wear fame) is taking the menopause world by storm. Her company exists to “make the state of menopause a little easier.” And that it does, offering products to alleviate the common symptoms of menopause. The company’s website sums it up perfectly… “we aren’t your mother’s menopause company because she didn’t HAVE one.”

Womaness – founded by brand strategy experts Sally Mueller and Michelle Jacobs, Womaness is a go-to source for menopause-related content and safe and effective products for the more than 50 million women going through menopause. The company’s mission? To take the “pause” out of menopause and spark the power of menopositivity.

As women age, we may need to pivot, says Bracken-Ferguson. “The things we thought we knew, the things our mom told us, may not be right.” It’s critical that we start the conversation earlier and connect all the dots related to our own personal wellness. Fortunately, trailblazing women are bringing once taboo topics into the mainstream with innovative and inclusive companies, and funding is rolling in. It looks like “The Change” is about to change.

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