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Home » Women's Healthcare » Black Women Often Suffer in Silence During Menopause. I’m Going to Keep Talking.
Women's Healthcare

Black Women Often Suffer in Silence During Menopause. I’m Going to Keep Talking.

black women-menopause-healthcare-changes
black women-menopause-healthcare-changes

I’m working to fight the stigma that leads so many women to being unprepared for the mental and physical changes of menopause.

Sherell Flagg

CEO, Pretty Moody

Menopause was one of those life stages I really knew nothing about. The most I had heard my mother say about it was, “I’m having a flash.” I never heard my grandmothers talk about menopause at all.

Menopause can be almost debilitating sometimes. You don’t know how you’re going to feel from day to day. We all know about the hot flashes, but not sleeping well, a lack of energy, and impacted mental health are significant symptoms as well.

Throughout history, Black women weren’t allowed to talk about what we were feeling. We were trained to be silent, to suffer, and to just deal with it. I think that mindset extended across generations, which means a lot of us aren’t educated about menopause.

A crash course

I had a partial hysterectomy when I was in my late 20s. My healthcare providers left one ovary and one fallopian tube to provide enough hormonal support to keep me from entering surgical menopause. By the time I was 47, my remaining ovary became so overworked that I needed to have it removed immediately because it was threatening my life.

In the two weeks before my procedure, I crammed so much information about how this would affect me. I knew I’d be thrown into full-blown menopause as soon as I woke up from surgery. I asked my HCP how I would feel afterward and was told it could differ for every woman and that I could get hormone therapy if I wanted. That’s pretty much all the information I got. If our healthcare providers aren’t menopause specialists — and there aren’t many — we’re left
to fend for ourselves. That’s why education about menopause is key.

Moving forward

After my experience, I wanted to help other women, so I founded a menopause lifestyle brand, Pretty Moody. I’ve had women reach out to me in their late 20s, because they’ve been thrown into some type of surgical menopause. There are women in their 30s who start experiencing symptoms of perimenopause.

I want all women to have a better quality of life while we’re going through this. Menopause has such a negative stigma. Don’t ignore the bad days — practice self-care. But also do the things that ignite your heart and make you happy.

This resource was created with support from Pfizer and developed in partnership with the
American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

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