Welcome to THE HOTLINE 🔥: Let’s Talk (Peri)Menopause

Community Manager

Welcome to the hottest chat on the internet! Finally, a judgement-free zone to get support and share advice as you navigate the change. While change can be unexpected and filled with twists and turns, you don’t have to go it alone. Your AthletaWell community has got your back.  


Use this space to share tips, ask questions, tell jokes — whatever sparks joy. Hot flashes, mood swings, brain fog, body hair. You name it! Nothing is off limits here. 


Whether you have a burning question you’ve been waiting to ask or the best advice because you’ve been there, done that, drop a conversation starter on The Hotline for a chance to win a $100 Athleta Shop Card.* 


And don’t forget to watch the Thriving Through Menopause group. Tips from our experts drop this Monday, 8/8!  


*To be entered to win, you must be a non-Gap Inc. employee, member of AthletaWell who comments in the comment section of the Hotline post between Wednesday August 3, 2022 - Friday August 12, 2022 and join the Thriving Through Menopause group. One winner will be selected at random after Friday August 12, 2022 and will be notified via private message on AthletaWell by an AthletaWell Team Member by 9pm PST on Friday August 19, 2022. 



YESSSSS!!!! Strength training!


Would love to hear from anyone who has had an ablation to help control heavy bleeding and abnormal changes to bleeding? I’m 47 and in the very beginning stages of perimenopause but I have had lifelong heavy bleeding that has now increased and has become an untenable situation. Currently discussing options of ablation versus hysterectomy with my doctor and unsure which path to take. 


I’m struggling with the weight gain in the last two years. As an active person who’s always been conscious of what I eat, I’m finding it so hard to remove the extra weight I’ve gained through my middle. My friends struggle as well and we are all active: running, walking, yoga, etc. Nothing is budging here…

@JoAnnL84 I know this sounds antithetical to everything everyone says but I personally have seen that it’s quite normal to gain more weight in the middle and accepting my body and not fighting to have that “culturally acceptable” body isn’t something I want to spend energy on. But I do spend time and energy caring for my body with sleep, feeding and exercise. What makes me feel good. I’ve found it very difficult to fight the culture of the ideal body.

I second what @JoAnnL84 said. Changes in body composition are very normal, and hyper focusing on that does not help. During this transition, we must make a conscious effort to decide where we will spend our energy: either hating our body because it's going through changes or focusing on staying strong and enjoying our movement. I pick joy and strength!  


I was put into menopause medically due to having to have a hysterectomy. This was last year, 2021 and I was 46. Due to my rare diagnosis I am unable to take anything that could elevate my estrogen levels, but I do take Progesterone and that has helped with sleep and with keeping weight off. My hot flashes are what I call “anxiety flashes,” because I don’t have flashes randomly, but I have a thought, or I overthink something, I get super hot and feel like I will combust, but it goes away fast and isn’t super terrible compared to what I’ve seen other women experience. 
As to why I had to have a hysterectomy? In 2019 I started experiencing pain in my right-side chest cavity. I teach PE so I thought I had pulled a muscle. I struggled breathing but I had some races coming up and I didn’t have time for setbacks. Fast forward a month and I wound up in the hospital with a collapsed lung. This recurred two more times, lung surgery that summer was supposed to correct it……

It happened again. My husband recognized that each time I was on my menstrual cycle when they happened and the hospitalist did research and I was given a diagnosis of Catamenial Pneumothorax—microscopic endometrial cells landed on my lung! 
I share this because my endometrial tissue did not show up on imaging and the doctors were baffled when they went in for surgery.

I am so glad this conversation is happening! I also am to take a supplement called pregnenolene which is a precursor to our hormones. 
My biggest piece of advice would be to talk to a registered dietician about your nutrition needs because for me, it is all about my protein intake. When I don’t get enough, my body reflects it almost immediately. Exercise is also important but make sure to alternate high and low impact days and give your self a recovery day—for me that is hiking on Sunday with my gal pals! 


One thing I have discovered,  and this was actually recommended by my gynecologist, is a product called Replens. It is an estrogen free vaginally moisturizer. Due to family history of breast issues, including myself, I try to stay away from hormone therapy as much as possible. This is one product that I have tried, and now regularly use! You can find it over the counter at the drug store. 


Does anyone else find that consuming "sugar" increases hot flashes and night sweats?

100% yes. Eating sugar impacts blood sugar levels, so it also increases the number and intensity of your hot flashes and night sweats. Higher blood sugar levels are related to weight gain and fatigue.


Hi all! What advice would you give to your younger self on how to prepare for menopause? What would you do differently? 


I'm so happy to see a discussion on menopause! I feel like there is little information out there for women in this stage of life. I have questions related to HRT. My doctor started me on progesterone as I am in the beginning phases of perimenopause. I have found it to help with hot flashes and heavy periods however I still have a lot of moments of extreme heat and irritability. I guess this is to be expected? I heard HRT was linked to cancer at one point but now I hear that cancer is more likely in women who do not use HRT. Please help!


I'm curious what others experience has been going through peri and menopause as someone who has had a hysterectomy but kept their ovaries? I'm not noticing any issues yet but am still maybe a bit young (42).


Is it a good idea to take hormonal therapy. I suffer from flashes, low libido, and weight gain. But I exercise and eat healthy. Is this something I have to adjust to or should I look into a plastic surgeon.



I will be 55 late October, and as soon as I turned 50 went into menopause.  Hot flashes, started to gain weight, etc.  At 51, I visited a clinic in Scottsdale, where I lived at the time, that had been pioneers in bio identical HRT using pellets.  I go about every 4 months and do bloodwork so they can check my hormone levels, thyroid, iron, and then a couple of weeks later they insert the hormone pellets of estrogen and testosterone.  I also take a nightly progesterone and a DIM supplement that is supposed to help with lowering the risk of cancers due to estrogens.  My doc has said that some people aren't candidates for estrogen, so it depends on history, etc.  Although I am still at least 10 lbs overweight despite exercise, carefully monitoring my eating, etc., I FEEL so much better!  More energy, feel like I look toned and am not losing muscle mass.  I still struggle with sleep, but it has seemed better lately.  I have been reading a lot on possible correlation between hormones and alzheimers/dementia, and HRT is a possible way to help fend off - at least I am hoping.  I know it's not for everyone, but it has made a huge difference!  Also, I have learned to appreciate my body for what it can DO, rather than what it looks like - always a work in progress!


Does anyone else who's post-menopausal still feel like they have an "emotional period"? Around the 20th of every month, my emotions get hair-trigger, but I haven't had an actual period in years.


Are there some women who do not get any symptoms? I am perimenopausal and find I’m already moody but have no other menopausal symptoms. Is there a predictor to determine when menopause will hit? 

I've always heard that you should ask your mother when she started, but mine had a hysterectomy at 30, so that advice didn't work for me. Maybe you could ask aunts?


This is a very important time in life to prioritize nutrition. Guidance from a registered dietitian can help to manage and minimize any symptoms of menopause, as well as ensure you're meeting your body's unique needs and help you set and achieve goals for your personal health. 


Happy to be here!

As a fitness and wellness instructor, menopause hit me during the pandemic after I was laid off og both of my jobs...


I do a lot of exercise, while eating healthy, eating smaller quantities, and having a few cheat days here and there, but for some reason I am not losing weight or it is happening slower and I was wondering if anyone has any tips on that


What herbal supplements would you recommend for perimenopause and/or to ease into it? Thank you! 

Black Cohosh is supposed to be one of the better supplements, but it didn't do much for me. 

Thank you


I took Schisandra for my hot flashes, and it did help. I also take maca, ashwagandha, and a mushroom complex. Mostly for brain and focus benefit, and it does help me. 

Thank you so much! Any brand(s) you recommend?