Couch Conversations: Midlife Routines and Menopause

This content is brought to you by Revel — a community and events platform for women over 40.

On behalf of Revel, I recently had the pleasure of hosting a Kindra Couch Conversation” at my apartment in Brooklyn. Lots of New York-area Revelers gathered for cocktails and frank discussion on a Wednesday evening in Dumbo, and with our view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the sweet company of my giant poodle, Strudel, we enjoyed a multi-layered candid conversation about aging with special guests Kindra CEO Catherine Balsam-Schwaber and State of Menopause CEO Stacy London. 

Couch Conversations” is a concept that Catherine herself devised, and the very first one took place in 2021 in the home of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Kindra is a wellness company committed to the notion that in order to thrive and learn from each other, women need to talk about menopause, and aging, and the realities of our very natural myriad life transitions. This mission is of course very much aligned with Revel’s mission of community, reimagining, and support, so we couldn’t be more delighted to partner with them to spread the message. Our combined goal with these evenings is to inspire women far and wide to hold their own couch conversations and spread the gospel that we can, and will flourish in middle age and beyond!

At the event, we asked women to fill out anonymous cards with the prompt “Menopause Is…” Below are some answers that I found particularly resonant:

 Despite the fact that there are 50 million menopausal women in America, that the average age of menopause is 51 and we now have a life expectancy for American women of 85, not even 1 in 5 trainee OB/GYNS in the US receives any formal training in menopause medicine. What does this mean? It means that when your average woman goes to the doctor with feelings of confusion in her mid to late 40s (feeling depressed, hot, unable to sleep, dealing with weight gain), she’ll usually be told that either she’s fine, or she should consider taking Ambien, or maybe go on the pill. It’s confusing because so many doctors don’t know the first thing about how to talk to a perimenopausal or menopausal women. We’re so grateful to companies like Kindra who are promoting open conversations about women’s health and offering accessible solutions like this bundle designed to address vaginal dryness. 

I got my first hot flash in a fancy restaurant when I was 46. I walked in with my then-husband for a 7pm reservation, and before I could sit down, out of the blue, I felt heat rising from within and started to sweat like a sumo wrestler. WTF?! I excused myself, went to the restroom, and literally stripped down to my underwear, applying cold paper towels to my burning flesh until the flash passed. I still felt nauseated when I got back to the table, and proceeded to eat the entire bread basket until I felt like a human being again. What I would have done to have a bottle of Kindra’s Cool Down Mist in my bag that night!

I couldn’t agree more. Nearly six years later I’m on the other side (and I got off easy; perimenopause can last as long as 11 or 12 years for some women!) of menopause and my hot flashes and insomnia and increased anxiety are mostly a thing of the past. But I’ve also learned how to cope: I use hormones when needed. I’ve learned how to manage a drier vagina, realized how I needed to change my eating habits to manage my muffin top. I’m feeling great now, but only because I have a tribe of women to guide my way, and because companies like Kindra have come along and started providing products (and conversation!) that make a world of difference.

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