Thought you were done learning about your body at age 12? Well your uterus and your ovaries might disagree!
Listen up ladies, perimenopause arrives unscheduled, uninvited, and often sooner than you think. There is no one-size-fits-all age when perimenopause begins. Many woman start experiencing perimenopausal symptoms as young as 38, others may be 48. There is no right or wrong age, and you won't receive a "save the date" to let you know when the festivities will begin. When you have been without a period for 12 consecutive months you are officially in menopause. The average age of menopause is 51. Many women find that they experience premature menopause, which means that your period has stopped for twelve consecutive months before the age of 40. Premature menopause may occur as a result of one's genetic make-up, an illness, or medical procedures such as a hysterectomy.
Women pride themselves on being prepared. The sisterhood is so prepared and open when it comes to childbearing and child rearing. From pregnancy to college applications, my friends and family were always full of support. Most mothers of young children routinely walk around with a whole nursery in their diaper bags and enough hand sanitizer to sterilize an entire country. It is time to educate and prepare the sisterhood for perimenopause and menopause and help women take control of their fertility and biological clock!
Did you know that 95% of 30-year-old women have only 12% of their original number of ovarian follicular cells, which can develop into eggs? At 40, only 3% of the cells remain, according to research from the University of Edinburgh. Don't panic! Research says that, before birth, females have roughly 600,000 cells. That means that even if you lose 88 % of them by the time you celebrate your 30th birthday, you can still celebrate having 72,000 cells left.
While it's easiest for women to become pregnant before age 35, all egg-laying ovaries are not created equal, says David B. Smotrich, MD, a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility. During your early 30s, your eggs can decline in quality and you might begin ovulating less frequently, even if you are having regular periods, Smotrich says. Reproductive potential decreases as women get older, and fertility can be expected to end 5 to 10 years before menopause. A 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of getting pregnant per cycle, but by the time she's 40, her odds drop to 5% per cycle, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
If you are planning on starting your family in your 30s or 40s, Dr. Smotrich recommends having these four simple tests so you can be in control of your family planning:
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test: A blood test that measures your body's levels of follicle-stimulating hormones, which control your menstrual cycle and your production of eggs.
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Test: A blood test that determines if your body is deficient in calcidiol, your body's main form of stored vitamin D. According to Dr. Smotrich, calcidiol levels generally decline with age, and deficiencies can predispose your baby to health complications.
Estradiol Test: A blood test that measures the amount of a hormone called estradiol in your blood. Estradiol is a form of estrogen that is largely made in and released from the ovaries, adrenal cortex, and the placenta, which forms during pregnancy to feed a developing baby.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Test: A blood test that estimates the number of the eggs in the ovaries.
Now you know why I commissioned well known comedic writer and talent, Rachel Bloom, along with songwriter and producer, Jack Dolgen, to create this educational music video. It's so important for our sisterhood to understand perimenopause and its effects on your fertility and biological clock, and of course my mission is always to prepare you for menopausal bliss.
A singing uterus... what's not to love? Laugh, learn, sing and dance!
"This uterus knows her stuff!" Help spread the word! Click here.
Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
For more by Ellen Dolgen, click here.
For more on women's health, click here.
Ellen Dolgen is an outspoken women's health and wellness advocate, menopause awareness expert, author, and speaker.
After struggling through the silence that surrounds menopause, Ellen resolved to help women reach out and end the confusion, embarrassment, and less-than-lovely symptoms that come with "the change." Her passion to be a "sister" to all women fueled Ellen's book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of her women's wellness journey, and in response to the overwhelming thirst of her ever-expanding audience for empowering information, Ellen's weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM was born.
Menopause MondaysTM allows Ellen an expansive platform from which she broadens her discussion of menopause, women's health, and life as a menopausal woman. Her weekly newsletter provides a one-stop shop for the latest menopause and women's health news and research, allowing women the access and know-how needed to take charge of their health and happiness. In addition to Ellen's ever-growing social media presence, EllenDolgen.com has fast become "the place" on the web for informative and entertaining women's menopause and wellness engagement. Ellen is #1 on Dr. Oz Sharecare.com Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Menopause. In 2012 and 2013 EllenDolgen.com was named first on the list of the "Best Menopause Blogs" by Healthline. Ellen is also a regular contributor to over a dozen leading women's health blogs. Her motto is: Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!
Ellen has appeared on the "TODAY Show," "The Katie Show," "NBC Nightly News", the "Rachael Ray Show," "The Doctors," Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, NPR's "Tell Me More," Doctor Radio, and dozens of regional and national media outlets. In 2011 she appeared in a sold-out, San Diego production of "The Vagina Monologues." Ellen was one of the first regular contributors to debut on The Huffington Post's, Huff/Post50, which targets 116 million Americans over the age of 50.