Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Menopause Basics with Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm spent more than three-quarters of her life devoted to helping women overcome issues relating to health and hormones. Here, the HRT expert and retired pharmacist offers general information on menopause.

Menopause is when a woman stops having a period completely. It signals the absolute end of her childbearing years, Marla Ahlgrimm explains. When women think of menopause, however, they typically envision night sweats, hot flashes, and irregular bleeding. This is perimenopause, the transitional phase, and it usually begins around a women’s 45th year.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, perimenopause is indicated at first by irregular periods and trouble sleeping. A doctor may test hormone levels in women who have not had a period for more than one year if they have not yet reached their 40th birthday. The onset of menopause may trigger mood swings, vaginal dryness, and disinterest in intercourse.

Perimenopause is not a quick process. It can take between 24 months and ten years to complete. While a woman’s body is adjusting to age, she can still become pregnant. Most doctors advise continuing birth control until menopause is confirmed. After menopause, birth control is no longer needed but STDs may still be contracted. Women with multiple partners are encouraged to continue to use condoms or other fluid barrier contraceptives, asserts Marla Ahlgrimm.  

After menopause, any vaginal bleeding should be reported immediately, as this could indicate a potentially serious health condition. Since menopause lowers the body’s level of estrogen, women become more susceptible to heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke. Marla Ahlgrimm recommends eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise to the offset fatigue and irritability associated with waning hormone levels.

For more information about menopause, visit the US Dept. of Health & Human Services online at WomensHealth.Gov.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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