Let’s Talk About It: Oprah Opens Up About The Reality of Menopause

Let’s Talk About It: Oprah Opens Up About The Reality of Menopause

If there’s one thing we know about Oprah, she never shies away from the naked truth.

It seems that she’s always been an open book and, by way of her own vulnerability, we’ve all found ways to cope with some of life’s most difficult moments. Recently, the media mogul opened up about her experience with menopause. In a world so often obsessed with the illusion of staying “young forever,” it’s often a topic women avoid, although it’s an experience every woman will have.

You cannot outfox the Big M,” said Winfrey. “The menopause train is coming no matter what.”

Drawing inspiration from the book, “The Wisdom of Menopause” by Dr. Christiane Northrup, the billionaire became one of the first media personalities to discuss the topic publicly and with honesty. Through her “The Life You Want” class, she’s become a menopause advocate by developing a detailed curriculum to provide people with the necessary tools to navigate both perimenopause and menopause fearlessly. And we all know that Oprah has no problem calling on her famous pals to join her on a journey. Drew Barrymore, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, and menopause experts Sharon Malone, MD, Heather Hirsch, MD, and Judith Joseph, MD, all joined Winfrey for a transparent and thought-provoking discussion.

This isn’t the first time the Cecil B. Demille Award recipient has opened up about her menopause-related symptoms. In 2019, she penned an essay detailing her experience with restlessness and extreme heart palpitations that led to multiple doctor visits, a heart monitor, and medication. Though these are symptoms that over 48% of women also share, no medical professionals drew a correlation to menopause. “Until that point in my adult life, I don’t recall one serious conversation with another woman about what to expect. Sure, I’d heard about hot flashes. But I wasn’t prepared for palpitations,” Winfrey wrote.

She hopes that with more open conversations around the matter, women, especially Black women whom research indicates go through menopause 8.5 times earlier than others, can be better prepared and know what to look for as indicators. “And, after my menstrual cycle stopped for good, at 53, I wasn’t prepared to have such difficulty concentrating. Reading, my favorite pastime, became a chore. Suddenly my attitude toward most things was ‘whatever.’ I wasn’t vibrant. My whole world dulled down a couple of notches.”

Suffering in silence can create shame cycles and feelings of isolation, so it’s great to see the topic being discussed in such open forums. Thanks, Oprah!