Retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm began her work in women’s health in the late 1970s, after obtaining her degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin. As she began working in the industry, Marla Ahlgrimm noted research being conducted overseas for something called “premenstrual syndrome.” Noticing similar symptoms in American women, Marla Ahlgrimm brought the term to America’s attention.
Marla Ahlgrimm was inspired to begin her research based on an individual woman’s monthly symptoms. With this first patient, Marla Ahlgrimm embarked upon a career with the singular goal of helping women across the country take control of their PMS, even if the medical community did not fully understand the condition.
As the baby boomer generation began to age, Marla Ahlgrimm turned her attention to address the hormonal changes occurring during perimenopause and menopause. Many women go through hormonal changes as they age, Marla Ahlgrimm noted, and those women often suffer from very uncomfortable symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm shifted her work to address these concerns.
Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates early in her career, knowing the importance of directly addressing women’s health needs. Through her experience at Madison Pharmacy Associates, Marla Ahlgrimm was able to work with a variety of natural hormone therapies, tailoring each one to the patient’s hormone-related symptoms. Because of the hard work of Marla Ahlgrimm and her colleagues, Madison Pharmacy Associates became recognized as one of the most cutting-edge pharmacy practices in the country. There was no other pharmacy in the nation at the time specifically geared toward meeting the needs of women, Marla Ahlgrimm explained.
To further help their national patient base, Marla Ahlgrimm and Madison Pharmacy Associates published one of the first newsletters to concentrate on women’s health. PMS Access focused on issues related to premenstrual syndrome. Through a toll-free hotline, Marla Ahlgrimm also provided women with the ability to find referrals to medical providers in their area who could help them with their specific symptoms. Taking this a step further, Marla Ahlgrimm founded an organization called Women’s Health America, which strives to help women with a variety of specific health concerns.
Through Women’s Health America, Marla Ahlgrimm and her team educated over 7000 doctors across the country on the specific healthcare needs of women. Greater than 350,000 women benefited from Women’s Health America and the expertise and compassion of Marla Ahlgrimm. This first clinic would serve as a model for hundreds of other female-oriented medical practices.
In addition to numerous speaking engagements, Marla Ahlgrimm is a published author, having written and published two books on women’s health, as well as appearing in such respected publications as The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Before her 2016 retirement, Marla Ahlgrimm devoted a great deal of her time and effort to studying the various stages and symptoms of menopause. Through the use of natural hormone prescription therapy options developed by Marla Ahlgrimm and her colleagues, women today are still able to find relief from symptoms related to hormonal changes that come as a natural part of the aging process.
While Marla Ahlgrimm has received many awards and honors for her landmark work in the field of women’s medicine, she feels the best reward of all is seeing the many women she’s been able to help. Through her work on menopause, Marla Ahlgrimm has the privilege of working with some of the same patients she once helped with premenstrual syndrome over the decades. The work Marla Ahlgrimm and her colleagues pioneered has paved the way for greater social acceptance of hormone-related disorders and have helped countless women take control of their lives… all month long.