My daughter, who is in her 20's, likes to tease me and my friends about menopause. She isn't being cruel and we all laugh, but I often think to myself "just wait". I've often said that being a women isn't for wimps and that is the best advice for menopause I can give.
My next best advice for menopause would be to educate yourself. It's sad, and I'm as guilty as anyone, but sometimes we know very little about how our own bodies work.
I really didn't know very much about menopause and what I thought I knew actually turned out to not be that accurate.
When my son was younger and he and his friends would talk about girls, I would laugh (on the inside, of course, I didn't want to embarrass them) and thought to myself how little they knew.
They were giving advice back and forth but not one of them knew what they were talking about. The problem was that they thought the other ones were giving them good advice, but they weren't.
My knowledge of menopause was really the same. A lot of the things I had heard were either incomplete or just plain wrong. So, educate yourself and don't rely on friends who may not really know anymore than you do and who might inadvertently give you some bad advice.
And, while it is important to talk to your doctor, don't let their limited ideas give you the wrong impression either. Your doctor is a great source of information but they may not have all the answers.
One of the biggest obstacles that many women find with their doctors is that a lot of western doctors are simply unwilling to consider herbal remedies as real alternatives to man made medicines.
Fortunately, this trend is changing, but if your doctor is close minded about that type of thing, you may want to find another doctor.
When you enter the perimenopausal state you will likely be confronted with multiple symptoms (though, you may sail right through with virtually no symptoms) and you will need to find relief for each of them.
In most cases this will require multiple sources of relief. You might find that one thing works well for your hot flashes but does nothing for your anxiety, for example.
So, you want to be able to find just the right treatments and combination of treatments to give you the broadest relief possible.
In order to do that you need a doctor who you can talk to and who won't automatically dismiss possible herbal remedies or other types of less "conventional" methods such as yoga, acupuncture, hypnosis, etc.
You want relief and you want someone in your corner who will keep an open mind and is willing to try anything (as long as it's safe of course) that will provide you with that relief.
So, that is my best advice for menopause. Get educated, learn what is real and what is myth, find a great doctor with an open mind who you can trust and talk to openly and you will have an easier time when you hit this stage in life.