I didn’t sign up for TikTok looking for perimenopause or menopause advice. All I wanted was a quick endorphin kick. Most of my follow list consists of drag queens, dancers, make-up tipsters, precocious animals and Keanu Reeves content.
At some point, my algorithms caught up with my age (did the Abba videos give me away?), and #menopause began popping up in my For You feed. While TikTok still skews young, there is a growing community of older scrollers sharing their experiences with a variety of perimenopause symptoms, including erratic periods, brain fog and hot flashes. They’re producing content about this confusing, often painful stage of life that can start as early as the mid-thirties—and last for up to 15 years. That’s a lot to pack into a two-minutes-or-less video.
Related: What They Don’t Tell You About Perimenopause
Hashtags like #menopausebelly and #menopausesupplements can lead to some wildly unreliable content, but there is a small but mighty contingent of TikTokkers whose accounts are full of solid advice. (One caveat: Your doctor is always your best source of information related to menopause, and should be consulted before you try any new treatment.)
Here are five of my favourites.
Dr. Jen Gunter
Ob-gyn and self-proclaimed “lasso of truth”
@drjengunter Coping with hot flashes with mini CBT #menopauseminute #menopause #menopausemanifesto ♬ original sound – jennifer gunter
Keeping in mind that TikTok is an entertainment-first platform, I was thrilled to find no-nonsense ob-gyn Jen Gunter, author of bestselling books The Vagina Bible and The Menopause Manifesto, on the platform.
Gunter dedicates space on her feed for “Menopause Minutes,” which explore topics such as the limitations of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and why post-menopausal women should use silicone-based lubricants.
Related: Meet Dr. Jen Gunter, Goop’s Number-One Enemy
I wish that I had watched Gunter’s video on how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can get you through a hot flash when mine first started (usually during inopportune times like on Zoom calls, when I was convinced that everyone could see my flushed face and the sweat pooling in my bra). She explains how our stress response to hot flashes can cause our hearts to race even more, an accelerating sensation akin to pouring gasoline on an internal fire. She recommends taking yourself out of the moment with a personal mantra that plays down the experience. One suggestion? “You’ve had bad sex that’s lasted longer.”
Carol King, a.k.a. Auntie Carol
“I teach you to boss menopause”
@auntiecarols50s What are the symptoms of Menopause? TAP THE SCREEN TO PAUSE and Screen shot. Here is a list of 80 perimenopause and menopause symptoms. If you want more comprehensive information on how to reduce your symptoms and make your menopause journey easier. Go to my profile and grab my ebook. It answers all of your most common questions as well as providing natural supplements for menopause. What to do if you can’t take HRT and much more. Go to my profile to get your copy. #perimenopause #menopause #menopauseawareness #menopausesupport #menopausetips #menopausehelp ♬ Peaceful – Arnaud Gauthier
Carol King became a menopause coach (it’s a thing, though there’s no standardized certification process) out of frustration that she couldn’t find much information on the litany of perimenopause symptoms she experienced for more than 10 years. One of her most useful posts lists 80 symptoms associated with perimenopause, the combination of which is unique to each person. Turns out my incessantly itchy ears could just be part of the journey!
While King covers the physical symptoms, what I really appreciate is how much she advocates for being easy on yourself during this transition.
Strength and Bloom Fit
Fitness for 40+ women
@strengthandbloomfit Check out this routine to help build strength and confidence. This routine is perfect for menopause as it uses exercises that focus on balance and coordination as well as incorporating cardio vascular elements for heart and lung health. Save for later #menopausalwomenoftiktok #menopausefitness #perimenopause #perimenopausefit #workoutsforwomen #womenover40 #bonehealth #bonehealthmatters #sarcopenia #menopausestrengthtraining #strengthandbloomfit #hearthealth #lunghealth #cardiohealth ♬ Epic Music(842228) – Pavel
Experts stress the importance of regular exercise to not only reduce perimenopausal symptoms but to help ward off diseases like osteoporosis. As someone with a short attention span and little time, I like the mini workouts by Kirsty, the 40-something trainer behind Strength and Bloom Fit, which focus on strength training using just your body and a pair of hand weights.
I especially like how Kirsty talks about toxic diet culture, and how she stresses that consistency in terms of diet and exercise is more important than losing a few pounds.
A naturopathic doctor who specializes in treating menopause
@menopausedoctor Important health screenings you should be getting to ensure you are healthy before and during menopause. #menopause #menopausespecialist #perimenopause #womenover40club #womenover50ontiktok #perimenopausesupport ♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim
I discovered Dr. Alexis through a hilarious video from Auntie Carol, who was thrilled that the naturopath was prescribing a regular dose of orgasms for perimenopausal and menopausal women. (Sex and menopause is a whole other story.)
Alexis offers straightforward but holistic advice usually based on commenters’ questions, but my biggest takeaway from her post about staying ahead of health risks is that I need to push for a DEXA X-ray scan, which measures bone density. When I brought it up several years ago with my own doctor, I was told that it was only offered to women over the age of 60 despite the fact that osteoporosis can start much earlier. Thanks to Alexis, I’m going to push for it again.
The Vagina Coach
“I help women fix incontinence and prolapse”
@vaginacoach #kegels #pelvicfloor #pelvicfloorexercises #kegelexercises #buffmuff #womenshealth #pelvichealth #stressurinaryincontinence ♬ original sound – The Vagina Coach Kim Vopni
As if hot flashes and dry skin aren’t enough, one the most embarrassing symptoms of this transitional stage of life is urinary incontinence. Another favourite follow is Kim Vopni, a.k.a. the Vagina Coach, a fitness professional who shares tips on proper Kegel form to strengthen your pelvic floor, a set of muscles that controls a wide variety of functions, including sexual response, continence and organ support.
As it turns out, I had been doing Kegels backwards for years. Vopni recommends inhaling while imagining your labia as lungs or “blossoming” and then exhaling while imagining you’re sipping a smoothie through a straw with your vagina. (It takes a lot of practice!)
Vopni suggests slipping in a few Kegel exercises in between sets of resistance training—a solid idea. However, I’ll admit that I giggled when she suggested “treating your muff like your mouth” by visiting a pelvic floor therapist once a year.
Laughter aside, it was a reminder to take a break and have a few giggles at this often ludicrous stage of life. While there are plenty of menopause parodies out there, I find the real joy of TikTok is escaping from reality for two minutes (or two hours). Don’t get too caught up in #menopause, enjoy that nasty emu Karen or the Old Gays dancing, whatever makes you laugh.