Menopause is actually a woman's body going through withdrawal. It's super interesting.

Menopause expert Ellen Dolgen made a video featuring dancing ovaries that got me thinking. What even IS menopause? And why do we think it's so weird? Here's what's up. It's not weird. Its just your body (and biology!) functioning correctly.

Did you know that the symptoms of menopause are essentially the symptoms of withdrawal?

Yep, withdrawal. That crazy intense process that you think about as only happening to people who are rehabbing cold turkey from heavy drug or alcohol abuse. But for women, it's a different kind of withdrawal.

It's estrogen withdrawal.

Menopause (and perimenopause!) is what the female body goes through when the level of estrogen the female body produces gradually (or sometimes dramatically) drops. The estrogen factory doesn't close up completely, but it does produce less. This creates an imbalance in the hormones and, thus, the withdrawal symptoms.


To put that into perspective, puberty is when the estrogen factory opens. Until the hormones balance out, the young female body gets essentially "drunk" on estrogen!

Every woman goes through estrogen withdrawal. And it can be intense.

Wait. What? JLaw GIF from HB TV.

This was my reaction as well when I learned this body hormone science stuff. I'm not even kidding when I tell you that I had no idea that's what menopause actually is. And I thought I knew things about things!

Estrogen withdrawal has some seriously hefty physical AND mental side effects.

Estrogen regulates body temps, so hot flashes are a major side effect. Estrogen also helps a body's intake of serotonin (which regulates mood), so when that's going bye-bye — hello mood swings! As if those aren't enough, there's also memory loss, weight gain, headaches, itching, dryness, pain during sex ... just to name a few possible symptoms!

"Half of women aged 45 to 60 years report experiencing menopausal symptoms. Of those, 69% reported that their symptoms have a negative effect on their lives."
— Endocrine.org, 2012

That's nearly 7 out of 10 women legit suffering from estrogen withdrawal.

It's not weird. It's a woman's body doing its thing.

And when you're not quite at menopause, you'll wind up in PERImenopause. Which is like exponential PMS.

Clip via Ellen Dolgen.

Despite this being a real thing with real(ly negative) symptoms, only a fraction of women reported speaking to their healthcare providers about getting help.

Sounds like it's time to get the word out: When estrogen ain't there, the body needs to get used to it. Plain and simple. Estrogen withdrawal and menopause are real things with real symptoms, and real help is available!

Women don't have to suffer through this alone.

Just like there are people — entire facilities! — to help with withdrawal from other substances, women are in luck. Actual satisfactual specialists exist to help anyone suffering from estrogen withdrawal. There are specific doctors for menopause who can figure out what can help ya through this.

There are even movements around "conscious menopause" where instead of the old-fashioned view of postmenopausal women like, "Your ovaries are so OLD the key on Ben Franklin's kite was to their apartment"* to "You're going from a mother to a queen" vibes.

So, congratulations, organs doin' your menopause and perimenopause science dance!


Clip via Ellen Dolgen.

The science in you is working. Cool.

Take it away — and bring on the details — singing uterus!

More

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared