Fired Up Friday- There Is No Right Or Wrong Way To Menopause

I am starting to feel like Menopause is becoming divisive and it is frustrating as hell.

I am sick of our two sided culture and I see it slowly creeping into the Menopause and women’s hormone health arena and it is firing me up.

Let’s be better than this, women folk. There is another way! But before we go there, things are changing for the better. These are the 4 big things I see.

1. I am definitely on board with the excitement around more female specific research and focus on women’s health. It is long overdue. For a long time we have been considered ‘small men’ and most health research has been based on men. Women’s hormones have been been considered too complicated to ‘control for’ in research so we were largely skipped over.

Research is changing and I am stoked.

2. There has also been a recent clarification around the Women’s Health Initiative research done in 2002 around women’s hormone therapy. In a nutshell it was not great research, as it did not clarify the kind of hormones used (synthetic), how old women were, how long it had been since menopause, and other factors. In result hormone therapy was vilified and thought to increase women’s chances of getting heart disease and breast cancer. We now know that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a wonderful tool for many women.

The dialogue around menopause is changing, which is wonderful. (there is actually dialogue here, so that alone is a change)

3. The third thing I see changing is that women are learning about their body and their hormones. This is empowering us to take agency over our health and know how we can use various tools and lifestyle changes to improve how we feel as hormrones change monthly and at times of bigger change- puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause.

Women are choosing to understand their body and this rules.

4. Finally, there is more research around what drives symptoms, what drives disease, how genetics can be impacted by our environment, and how we can be proactive and prevent future disease states. This allows us to address the root causes of health and again take agency over our body and daily choices.

Focusing on root cause and prevention is a wonderful improvement for women and health in general


However, despite all of these awesome changes, what I see now is two teams emerging-

  1. The ‘you must be on hormone therapy if you consider yourself an educated and progressive woman and if you want to do menopause right’ team
  2. The ‘menopause is natural and I am taking nothing to get in the way of the natural transition’ team

I am here to scream from the mountain top that you do not have to pick a team. There is no right way to menopause, despite what anyone tries to tell you.

If you choose to use hormone therapy to help improve how you feel in perimenopause or menopause, that is wonderful. If you choose not to use hormones as you move through perimenopause or menopause that is wonderful too. If you use some hormones for a little while, until symptoms settle, that is wonderful also.

Again, there is no right or wrong. You just need to find what works for your unique body, your goals, your motivation to make changes, and your health.

Here is the thing- we are all going to go through menopause. There is not stopping that process. It can be debilitating for some women and symptoms can last for years for some while others don’t notice the changes as much. Symptoms can start as early as our late 30s. For many women, perimenopause is the more tumultuous with bigger swings. Since estrogen and progesterone have receptors all over our body, changes impact our brain, heart, bones, muscle, metabolism, gut, sleep, mood, and more. There are tools and lifestyle changes that we can use to ease our symptoms and reduce our risk for future problems. One of the tools to improve symptoms is using bioidentical hormones- estrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone. But there are other tools and they are not mutually exclusive to hormones, they include

  • Working on your gut microbiome, which directly impacts hormones
  • Supporting your liver end detox pathways, which impact hormones
  • Making sure you have optimal Magnesium, Zinc, B12, D and other vitamins and minerals as those impact how our body ages and how hormones change
  • Optimize blood sugar and how our metabolism changes with hormone changes
  • Reduce chronic inflammation, as inflammation impacts hormones and symptoms
  • Improve sleep, as sleep makes everything work better and improves blood sugar
  • Cradle the adrenals, HPA axis, and our stress response, as cortisol is the bossiest hormone that makes other hormone balance more challenging
  • Build muscle, as muscle is medicine as we get older and lose hormones
  • Improve digestion as that impacts hormones and also changes as hormones change
  • Utilize herbs and nutrients to ease symptoms such as GABA, Vitex, adaptogens, Valerian, more

We are lucky to have so many tools, increasing research, community, and information available to support women during this big transition, or initiation really. We work on all of the things listed above in the Hormone Club and they are relevant if you do or do not choose to use HRT.


With so much change happening in women’s health at midlife, I think the pendulum is swinging. In result, I am seeing the two sides emerge.

I believe that Perimenopause and Menopause are an initiation, a rite of passage, one that we have the potential to emerge on the other side a new and improved version of ourselves. HRT or not.

We do not want to suffer more than we have to though in the process of Perimenopause, Menopause, and into Post Menopause. So whatever tools you choose to use on your journey, which for most of us will be many, I hope you feel empowered and confident in your choices. I hope you understand your body and how it is changing. I hope you do not feel judged for your choices and I hope that you do not judge others. And above all else, I hope you emerge on the other side wiser and kinder and more badass and sure of yourself than ever.

What about you? What are your beliefs around this change?

xoxo Janel

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a certified functional medicine nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine. She is obsessed with helping people understand their body better and supporting them to improve health. She specializes in gut health, hormones, autoimmune disease, and energy. Janel has a mother that has taught her that with each decade life improves and women become wiser and more sure of themselves. Learn more about Janel here.

Winter- Women’s Hormone Club (coming year round soon!)

NOurishing Spring Cleanse and Liver love

Learn More- Energy Club- Metabolism
Learn More- Functional Nutrition Foundations Bundle

Digestion bundle coming soon!!

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑