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Leadership Story

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Cindy Gentry, Midi’s Chief Commercial Officer, has dedicated herself to supporting women’s well being through partnerships with employers and healthcare systems. Before Midi, she moved the needle on fertility care, making sure women have access to the benefits they need to build the families they want. Now she’s working to fill the care gap that harms millions of us in midlife. Cindy is open about what she experienced in her fifties, and driven to change the model for women now—and for the generations to come. 

Anxiety, out of nowhere

“I had no idea what was happening when sleeplessness and anxiety hit me in my early 50s. I was on hormonal birth control that made it hard to tell that I was starting menopause, but I definitely felt that something was different—I was reactive, out of sorts, and unable to cope with stress the way I had all my professional life. Waking at five a.m. and obsessing over small things coalesced to cloud the day.”

No dialogue, no support

“I turned to my primary care doctors who told me to stop taking birth control, but never referenced my symptoms or attributed them to menopause. Among the older matriarchs in my Latino family, there was no discussion of menopause, or mental health, so I didn’t find support or knowledge there, either. Not only did we not share our stories in my family, but there was no talk of menopause among my colleagues at work. Women over fifty already experience age discrimination, so there was a natural fear of showing vulnerability. I thought I might be judged, so I suffered through, silently. The symptoms persisted for a decade at a critical stage of my career.”

Leadership, needy kids, aging parents…and menopause

“My insomnia and anxiety coincided with a time when I gained greater responsibility at work. Leadership requires vision and focus, authenticity and accountability—but instead of feeling empowered, I felt impaired by exhaustion and emotion. In addition, I was supporting and encouraging teenage children who were hormonal and stressed about the college process and life in general. Not to mention helping to guide parents as they aged! It was a classic sandwich generation situation made much harder by menopause symptoms.” 

Working towards a different landscape for midlife women

“Looking back, I feel certain that if I’d been given hormone replacement therapy, all of my issues would have been controlled and my quality of life for more than a decade would have radically improved. With everything on women’s plates during this phase of life and our need to be clear, effective, and energized, it’s imperative that we get healthcare that understands midlife hormonal shifts and presents all the treatment options.”

Cindy’s regimen:
  • No red meat, diet focused on poultry and fish, with a growing emphasis on plant-based foods
  • Lots of exercise:  Zumba, hiking, and weight training (for sleep, bone health, and mental well being)
  • Vitamin D and Calcium
  • Meditation to calm the body for better sleep

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