When Dr. Pam Gaudry’s husband was dying of cancer, in 2005, she tried to continue practicing obstetrics while taking care of him and their eight-year-old twins.
“I had a huge practice, with about 150 obstetrics patients at a time, but it was very difficult to keep up with everything, especially because I often was gone at night. Something had to give,” explains the doctor who everyone calls “Dr. Pam.”
So Dr. Pam delivered her last baby at the end of 2006, and concentrated instead on operating, which allowed her to spend more time caring for her two children and ill husband. Although she originally thought she was going to be this “wonderful gynecologic surgeon,” excelling at hysterectomies and other important procedures that women might need, that’s not what happened.
“Patients were so happy when I stopped delivering babies, because it gave me more time to sit down and talk to them, especially women over 45 years old who wanted to discuss menopause and what they could do about their symptoms,” Dr. Pam said. “And every time I was in the operating room, I missed helping women in my office,” she added. Those feelings prompted the doctor to stop operating in the fall of 2016, so she could spend full time in her office in Tybee Island, one of the barrier islands near Savannah, Georgia.
Today, Dr. Pam exclusively counsels and treats women 45 plus on premenopausal and menopausal issues.
And, besides being a certified menopause practitioner, she has her certification in sex therapy, and jokingly calls herself a “gynechiatrist.“ Most sex therapists are psychologists only, she explains. Claiming she could work 50 hours a day and “still wouldn’t get to everyone who wants to talk about menopause,” Dr. Pam thought about producing a series of 30-minute videos which would feature her discussing the most common things that women want to discuss.
Instead, she and the film production company wound up creating an 80-minute documentary, called Love, Sweat & Tears, designed to “de-stigmatize menopause, save the menopausal vaginas of America and start the Menopause Romance Revolution.” The film isn’t just brimming over with valuable information from incredible doctors and other health experts across the country; it features real women, couples, spiritual advisors and even comediennes talking about menopause, including Jenny McCarthy and Joan Rivers in her very last interview. “We wanted to bring in some comic relief, and they really wanted to help us,” Dr. Pam says. “Everywhere we went, women were desperate to help.”
The powerful opening minutes of the film feature women, all modeled after Dr. Pam’s real patients, making emotional statements about their menopause, such as these:
“He doesn’t understand. It has nothing to do with not loving him. It just hurts”
“I’m afraid I’m going to lose him. I’m afraid he’s going to find a younger woman.”
“Everything makes me anxious. I have panic attacks all the time.”
“I can’t stop crying.”
“I am losing my mind. I feel like I have Alzheimer’s.”
“I don’t like the way I look. I can’t stand to see myself naked.”
“I’m mad at everyone around me.”
“Little 11-year olds go to school today with baby butt wipes, an extra set of panties, and their favorite pads. They are completely ready for puberty. But, we kind of let woman fall into menopause, and no one explains how we can prepare for these changes, and how we can keep ourselves healthy and active,” Dr. Pam emphasizes.