Interviews & Essays -

"OK, what's the deal with perimenopause?"

Our co-founder Michelle with perimenopause straight talk

By Michelle Jacobs     2-Minute Read

A Word from Womaness

Last month, at 1am on a Wednesday, I was lying on my bathroom floor, terrified.

An excruciating pain ripped through my lower abdomen. I was nauseous. Dizzy. I felt feverish. It had all come on suddenly.

Would I need my appendix taken out? Was it a gallbladder or intestinal issue? I couldn't figure out what was happening to me.

I sought help from my doctor right away (and please do, if you’re ever in this position!). Come to find out, it was a ruptured ovarian cyst. And according to my doctor, it's one of the more extreme symptoms of perimenopause—those up to 10 transitional years as menopause approaches, before you’ve gone 12 months straight without a period.

Like a lot of you, it’s the phase I am squarely in. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride: Your levels of estrogen unevenly rise and fall, which can create a few menopause-like issues. Fortunately, most of those symptoms are not as severe as ovarian cysts. For me, they generally show up as changes in my skin and sleep problems; for a few friends, it’s night sweats and vaginal dryness.

"It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride..."

And like you, I am learning how to cope with help from my own doctor as well as from the experts we work with here at Womaness (we’re always finding out something new!). I’ve got a few of our must-have solutions at the ready (Fountain of Glow, The Works, and Let Me Sleep are my current perimenopause faves). And fortunately, I am also learning from conversations with friends…particularly from Sally, my Womaness co-founder, who has been giving me pointers, as she’s already landed in postmenopause.

Personally, I couldn’t be happier that this conversation around menopause is changing. It’s helping me better understand and navigate my own “peri period” and feel less alone. And I am beyond proud that Womaness is leading the change.

Two days ago, I turned 50—just one year shy of 51, the average age of women entering menopause. I’ve been toasting to still feeling unstoppable, and to knowing that I’ve only just started. And I’m also raising a second glass to you, my sisters in peri. We see you, we get you, we are you.

Here’s to us.

Menopause, meet your match.

Michelle, Womaness Co-Founder

Not sure if you’re in perimenopause? Start here for our perimenopause primer, check out our peri articles, or take the W quiz. We’re here to help!