Menopause Stories From Black Women and the Doctors Who Listen to Them

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Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 1:00pm EST
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Did you know Black women enter menopause earlier and have longer lasting, more intense menopause symptoms? More hot flashes and night sweats (lasting up to 7-10 years), worse sleep, more clinical depression, increased hypertension—all with a greater impact on their lives.

Unfortunately, your doctor may not know these facts either. Black women are the least likely to leave their doctor’s office with a prescription for hormone therapy or another effective treatment.

What will it take for doctors, researchers, the media—indeed, all of us—to take seriously the menopause and midlife health care needs of Black women?

Our host, Dr. Sharon Malone, and our panelists, Rachel Hughes, Dr. Sameena Rahman, and Kamili Wilson, can offer some answers. Wearing their hats as doctors, menopause educators/advocates, and women seeking answers themselves, they will discuss their journeys to receiving the menopause care they needed, and how they are paying it forward to other Black women in midlife and beyond.

About the Host

Dr. Sharon Malone

Dr. Sharon Malone is the Medical Director of Alloy, a telehealth platform working  to democratize the experience of menopause and ensure that women have access to science-based information and clinically proven treatment options. Prior to assuming her role at Alloy, Dr. Malone served women across Washington D.C. in her almost 30 years as a practicing Ob/Gyn. She remains one of the nation’s leading obstetrician / gynecologists with expertise on the specific health challenges associated with menopause. Dr. Malone graduated from Harvard College, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed her medical residency at The George Washington University.

Dr. Malone’s upbringing shapes her approach to educating and empowering women. Born at home (the two nearby hospitals didn’t adequately serve Black women in childbirth), and the youngest of 8 children, she was raised in Mobile, Alabama. Her sister, Vivian Malone integrated the University of Alabama in 1963. Her enrollment prompted Governor George Wallace’s infamous Stand in the Schoolhouse Door. Then, Dr. Malone helped integrate the white Catholic school across the street from her house. Raised by siblings after the death of her mother, Dr. Malone transferred schools four times within four years in three different states. Dr. Malone found strength and resilience in community, in her own work ethic, and in her strong belief that there are no accidents in the universe.

About the Speaker(s):

Ms. Rachel Hughes

Rachel is a graduate of Vassar College with an MSEd from Bank Street College in NYC. A former dancer with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, she later obtained her license in nutritional counseling and worked with patients with chronic pain for over 10 years at the New England Center for Chronic Pain in Greenwich, CT. Rachel is also the author of publications on IBS, Tinnitus, Fibromyalgia, and other health conditions.

As her own perimenopausal symptoms became disruptive to her life, Rachel sought out much needed clarity and information, but, like many others, found few answers. Rachel came alongside the heyperry platform in 2020, launching and hosting “Perry Talks''—a series of live interviews with physicians, experts, thought leaders, and inspirational voices on all things peri/menopause, exclusively on the @ohhelloperry app and on the podcast, PerimenopauseWTF! With Rachel’s involvement, the Perry community grew exponentially and now stands firmly as the #1 menopause community app. Continuing her commitment to education and to bridging the gap between real women facing troublesome symptoms and solutions, Rachel is now the Community Manager of Alloy Women’s Health.

Dr. Sameena Rahman

Because of her research and dedication to the field, Dr. Rahman is one of the few physicians nationally to receive the designation of ISSWSH (International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health) Fellow (IF) and is actively involved with cutting edge approaches to sexual pain and sexual dysfunction. She, too, is an active member of the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS), and specializes in a multidisciplinary approach to chronic pelvic pain. Dr. Rahman is also a specialist in menopause management with the designation of Certified Menopause Physician through the North American Menopause Society (NCMP).

After years of practicing obstetrics and gynecology in a variety of large academic settings/locations, Dr. Rahman opened a practice to focus on her primary areas of interest: menopause and sexual medicine. She has done research and presentations on implicit bias in these fields and works hard to provide an inclusive environment across all races, religions, and socioeconomic status. She also strives to build awareness and educate on issues which are stigmatizing and fraught with shame through her social media platforms, Op-Ed pieces, and YouTube channel.

Ms. Kamili Wilson

In 2019, Ms. Wilson founded Menopause Made Modern by Claret Circle to address a gap in information and resources for women of color navigating the various stages of the menopause transition. Through content sharing, storytelling, and community-building, she is working to increase diverse representation in the menopause space and help women feel more informed (and empowered) to better manage their own experience. Currently 49 years old and perimenopausal, her first related symptoms began at the age of 43.  

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Let's Talk Menopause is a nonprofit organization in partnership with Revel to produce these Menopause Talks. When you sign up for this event, you will be added to the Let's Talk Menopause mailing list with the option to unsubscribe at any time. 

*MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER: All Menopause Talks are intended for informational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any of this information is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice because of something you have read here.

*Let's Talk Menopause does not endorse any particular product, brand, or service.