Say what you want about Gwyneth Paltrow, but she's pushing the conversation around women's health. First she did it with self-care, then she did it with sexual wellness, and now, the Oscar-winning actress and wellness guru wants to change your mind about menopause.
In a new video for her health platform GOOP, the 46-year-old newlywed reveals she's experiencing perimenopause, a precursor to menopause in which the ovaries gradually begin making less estrogen. This natural phase in a woman's life can cause her to experience irregular menstrual cycles and fluctuations in hormones with symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, and drops in libido. While most women being to experience these transition years in their 40s, some experience these changes as early as their mid-30s.
"When you get into perimenopause, you notice a lot of changes," Paltrow explains. "I can feel the hormonal changes happening: The sweating. The moods. You’re just like all of a sudden furious for no reason."
Paltrow goes on to explain that in response to the dramatic shifts in her body's systems, she's recalibrated her fitness regimen, incorporating weight-lifting to build bone density, as well as continued her clean-eating diet comprised of whole foods, such as leafy greens and lean, ethically-sourced protein. Not to mention, she is closely monitoring her hormone levels. "I wasn’t overly focused on my hormones in my thirties," she says. "[But now] I do a panel every six months to ensure that everything is aligned."
While Paltrow has always been at the forefront of exploring new frontiers and tackling taboo subjects in women's health, menopause is a topic she is particularly passionate about. "I remember when my mother went through menopause and it was like such a big deal and there was grief around it for her and all of these emotions," she explains. And in that spirit, she's hell-bent on reshaping the narrative around it with zero qualms about transparency as she navigates her own journey. "I think menopause gets a really bad rap and needs a bit of a rebranding," she says. "I don't think we have in our society a great example of an aspirational menopausal woman."
In conjunction with her honesty on the subject, GOOP is launching Madame Ovary, a vitamin and supplement pack allegedly designed to help regulate hormones for women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Working with preventative and anti-aging medicine expert Dr.?Dominique Fradin-Read, MD, on the formulation, the nutrient-packed blend of essential vitamins and phytonutrients supposedly includes calming adaptogen rhodiola rosea, healthy heart and brain supporting omega-3 fatty acids, and supportive herbs such as menopausal symptom-ailing motherwort and mood-modulating black cohosh. Also included is thyroid function-aiding iodine, selenium, zinc, and copper. "I particularly love [it for] balancing my mood," explains Paltrow . "I feel like I have fewer days now when I feel cranky or emotional for no apparent reason. And when I’m even, a packed schedule is infinitely more manageable."
Inviting more critique as Hollywood's unofficial—and unabashed—shaman, part of the population may remain skeptical of Paltrow's out-there practices, from bad juju-healing earthing to the ancient, anti-inflammatory practice of bee-sting therapy, to the latest, and perhaps most controversial, hormone balancing therapy via a vaginal egg. And while her widely popular e-commerce company is currently under watch for false product marketing, there's still no denying that Paltrow is using her platform to raise awareness around women’s health's issues. And if anyone has the clout and gumption to take on the hush-hush and unjustly painted topic of menopause, it's Paltrow.