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The Be Well Podcast: Menopause

Listen in or read the partial transcript below as Donna Lee, ARNP discusses the stages of menopause, symptoms and treatments, who may be a good candidate for menopause hormone therapy and more.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as personalized medical advice. 

Maggie McKay (Host): This podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as personalized medical advice. 

Menopause can be a dreaded topic, but the more you know, the better you can plan and know what to expect. So today we're joined by Donna Lee, a member of the Women's Health team at Skagit Regional Health, who will fill us in on what we need to know. 

Welcome to Be Well with Skagit Regional Health. I'm Maggie McKay. Thank you so much for being here today, Donna. I can't wait to talk more with you about this important topic. 

Donna Lee, ARNP: Thank you for having me.

Maggie McKay (Host): I think a lot of women don't know the definition of menopause until they're approaching it. So let's start with that. How is menopause defined?

Donna Lee, ARNP: So technically menopause is defined as one full year without any menses or any period. And we don't know when that year is up until you've had those 12 months. So you could go 10 months and think, oh, I'm finally in menopause. And then you have another period, and then your clock starts over from that month. And you need to go another 12 months without a period to officially be in menopause.

Maggie McKay (Host): And tell me about the stages of menopause. Once I was watching Oprah years ago, actually decades, and there was an expert on and they said, from beginning to end, it takes about 14 years. And I was horrified. I think I was in my twenties maybe, so tell us about the stages. There's perimenopause and menopause and postmenopause, right? 

Donna Lee, ARNP: Yes, I guess if you could say it's 14 years. The time from age 40, a woman can be entering menopause and perimenopause. Perimenopause is defined as, when the menstrual cycles start to become more irregular. Women could start to have periods that are further apart, or a little bit longer in length or skipping an entire month. And this can go on for several years. And then menopause is, any time after the 12 months without a period, then you're officially in menopause. And any time after that is considered postmenopausal.

To listen to the podcast or read the full transcript, visit here.