Stephanie Culver, MD, Johanna Mooney, Patty Wu

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    Dr. Stephanie Culver & Johanna Mooney (not pictured: Patty Wu)

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    Women of the South Bay

Menosplain’s mission is to help women thrive during perimeno-pause, menopause and beyond with education, insights, practical solutions by health professionals, and candid conversations with women. Founders Johanna Mooney, Patty Wu and Dr. Stephanie Culver started Menosplain in 2020. Dr. Culver is a board-certified OB-GYN, a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a North American Menopause Certified Practitioner (NCMP). Patty and Johanna both earned their MBAs at Harvard Business School.

Why did you create Menosplain? 

We were shocked that although we are highly educated women with different backgrounds and experiences, we knew next to nothing about menopause. That pushed us into action, and the first thing we did was find an expert. We were so fortunate to find one close to home, and with Stephanie’s expertise, we decided to start Menosplain. 

Menosplain’s goal is to empower women to take charge of their physical, emotional and mental transitions. We want to normalize menopause so the next generation embraces this stage as an opportunity to live, realize the best years are ahead, and have the medical and emotional support to be ready and eager for the journey. 

Our ultimate wish is for women in our community to be part of this mindset of agency and liberation from what has defined us previously. Menosplain is committed to making it happen. We are creating a supportive community and culture for women starting right where we are with the fantastic women of the South Bay.

What are some myths about menopause?

Women have been pressured by societal beliefs to see lack of sleep, weight gain, incontinence and even silent conditions such as osteoporosis as natural and acceptable as we age. Women do not need to settle. We can create our own narrative with knowledge, wellness and advocating for solutions for a better quality of life. As a patient empowered with information, you can pose the right questions to your physician and both of you can work together to find solutions or specialists.

Describe your leadership style. 

We strive to lead by example and by ensuring our work encompasses values of empathy, respect, honesty and sense of purpose. Numerous scientific studies show that people live better and are happier when they have meaning in their lives. As leaders, we wish to work with other community leaders to unlock untapped resources for women who recognize that a sense of purpose is critical to well-being and longevity. 

Tell us about something you recently learned that surprised you. 

It has been documented that both women and their doctors know very little about menopause. Knowledge gaps and misunderstandings prevent women from receiving standard care and options. It is troubling that even some of the most educated women we’ve spoken to in our community have been ill-prepared for the second half of their lives. Women want evidence-based solutions and trustworthy resources to ensure our lifestyle choices are the best to maintain a strong, healthy, vital outlook. 

Topics surrounding midlife and menopause can cause misconceptions, taboos and stereotypes, all of which we seek to dispel.     Let’s acknowledge that we are battling many fronts: 1. Society’s prejudices. 2. Our own prejudices (you know you judge too). 3. Physical and mental changes—our bodies and minds are testing us at every turn, and the experiences vary widely among women.

Many women find transitions a time for accepted challenges, an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and the freedom to be who we are once more. Menosplain is a community that engages women to walk side by side along the way through this natural process. 

Why not? Our community has strength in numbers and expertise. Midlife women have nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of. Instead we should seize the opportunity to enjoy life and laugh at all the changes and opportunities it brings—together! 

We were driven to change legacy prejudices, celebrate shared experiences and provide scientific, evidenced-based education. When women are educated with the correct information, we are equipped to have a more directed and successful conversation with our health care providers and more agency in shared decision-making for our wellness. 

What strategies can work well to promote inclusion in the workplace? 

There is much talk about inclusion in the workplace. Our perspective is that it needs to be rooted authentically in the appreciation of the contribution that different life experiences, views and backgrounds can make to enrich the culture of and performance of an organization. It requires honest intention to listen and willingness to give the other person grace and sincere appreciation for their point of view and what they can contribute.  Disclaimer: Content on Menosplain should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.