Gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Booth and her sister chat with contributor BRENDA WENSIL about discovering the powerful secret of your cycle at any age. Dead Heat: Hormonal Aging. Odds On Favorite: The Venus Effect.
Photograph: via The Courier
Across the generations women have sought equality. They’ve pushed forward as much for themselves as for their daughters and granddaughters, restricted by their femininity in what has been largely defined throughout time as a “Man’s World.” The first wave of feminists sought to eliminate the differences between men and women in order to level the playing field. But mere equality, in this day and age, seems to be an idea whose time has come and gone.
While previous generations of women sought to vilify these discrepancies, Modern Woman embraces feminine strengths to her advantage. She is no longer driven by the need to merely belong, but to leverage those things uniquely feminine and to announce, advocate and advance her sex beyond what equality ever could.
Dr. Rebecca Booth, leading gynecologist and author of The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle at Any Age leads this chorus. She believes that the greatest advancement for women is their ability to understand the impact of hormonal change, and to manage personal control of that impact throughout, she emphasizes, her entire lifetime.
The Venus Week is a window of days each month when estrogen, (the feel-good hormone) and testosterone (the hormone of desire) are at their peak. “We are the first generation of women to have this knowledge and power,” says Booth. “Rather than vilify the very hormone, estrogen, that makes us unique, we must learn to manage its cycle throughout our lifespan in order to be vital. We are built to be different, and I want to help women understand the complexity and awe-inspiring beauty of female hormonal wellness.”
In The Female Brain author and medical researcher Louann Brizendine emphasizes the effects of estrogen in utero on verbal development and capacity. Unique characteristics such as communicator, relationship builder and caregiver comprise large centers of the female brain. For all of this, of course, we are physiologically pre-qualified. Yet as estrogen and fertility recede, Modern Woman must carve a path to renewal, well-being and social relevance.
Fascinated since childhood with all things feminine, Dr. Booth is among the pioneers exploring the dynamics of what she describes as Ovarian Retirement: the impacts of hormonal aging. She suggests that as women grasp and understand their body’s natural hormonal changes, they can adapt to and maximize the second half of their lives. This period of life is ripe for achievement, and going beyond their quintessential role of raising children they’re uniquely qualified to build upon and change the world, too.
“One of the biggest challenges for women is the ability to manage biological issues; particularly hormonal aging or what most of us refer to as our ticking biological clock” she says. “We’re built to be different. As we finish our professional training our hormones are already in early retirement, and our cycles nearly finished by the age of 51. We live almost half our lives after menopause. Ovarian Retirement is about understanding the impact of our biological clock, working with rather than against our hormones, and to sync our physiology to the role and psychology of the Modern Woman.”
“What we want and what Mother Nature wants are not always the same thing” Booth continues. “That’s what the Venus Effect sets out to solve: the lack of synchronicity between ovarian function and our female lifespan. It is that one week during the female monthly cycle when she feels her very best and most vital.”
Understanding how to maintain the Venus Effect, a metaphor for hormonal balance, requires an awareness that appearance, mood and energy level are all strongly influenced by hormones. As for skin, the secret to maintaining the Venus Effect is to borrow from the reproductive vitality of the plant world to replenish our lost hormones. This is now possible with phytoestrogen: a technology leveraged in a new luxury skin care line created by she and her sister called VENeffect now sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus. Her message to other women is that “We are not built to be hormonally balanced and stable in our moods. We are built to be different across our lifetime and every single day within it.” Working in accordance with this discovery, women can now holistically mediate their hormones to maximize their roles in everything from child rearing to nation building throughout and across the course of their lifetime.
Our foremothers pressed forward on all other frontiers; politics, aviation, sports, law and education. Breaking barriers in science, however, I’ll admit that the good doctor seems to be onto something very special when she says, “Women serve the planet in a different, very special way.” Armed with the discovery of the Venus Effect, perhaps the unique contribution of this generation will be the first to go beyond the mere quest for social equality, and, like Dr. Rebecca Booth, be the first to explore the metaphysical expanse of mortality where women of all ages serve the universe in ways as yet unknown.
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