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You may have seen the commercials on television lately about The Second Talk. In case you haven’t seen them, the commercials are encouraging people to talk about menopause in the same way we had “the first talk”. Although I happen to agree that talking about menopause is important and believe me, I do a lot of talking about it, I’m hoping things will be different this time.

For me, the first talk happened in 1973 and it meant watching a movie sponsored by a company related to feminine hygiene products. We watched it in class – just the girls of course – and for some reason, the only thing I remember is that one of the featured girls wore a green and white checkered dress with white flowers below her neckline. Seriously. That’s what I took away from it. 

As I move headlong into this phase of life, I feel fortunate that I have the internet and resource books to seek out information and hear the stories of other women. Cause, seriously, this is some crazy stuff that’s happening. My mind, my body, my energy level – you name it, it’s all wound up in there somehow. It’s frustrating and it’s wonderful and it’s not anything like I expected.

I find it interesting that the company backing the campaign for The Second Talk, Poise, offers products to “help you approach menopause with confidence” – seriously, doesn’t this sound familiar? Yet, although the website associated with the commercials is chock full of product information, it does have other relevant information as well. I don’t hold a grudge against Poise – hey, I’ll take all the help I can get and I appreciate someone, anyone, getting out there and saying, hey, this is happening and we need to all stop pretending like it isn’t.

One of the things that I have found useful in the information available in cyberspace and books is that no one is saying, “this is what will definitely happen, and then this and then this”. There is no map, there is no “normal” path through menopause. What I like is that people share their experiences, experts say this may happen. There are cautions, of course, about when to talk to your doctor, although I’ll be frank – my doctor is a resident and so her knowledge about the subject is limited. (Which explains the reason she’s a resident…..)

I think that because people are finding that aging is not viewed in the same way it used to be – you know, 40 is the new 30 kind of idea – menopause no longer signifies the imaginary line from young to old. It really should be up for discussion.

So, carry on. Talk amongst yourselves. First talks, second talks, just talk!