Period, the end. (But not really) A podcast about menopause

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KJZZ's Kathy Ritchie likes to talk about things that make most people uncomfortable — like menopause.

Anyone with ovaries will go through menopause and most will have symptoms. We’re talking hot flashes, anxiety, sleepless nights, vaginal dryness and even abnormal bleeding. In this podcast, Kathy talks to menopause experts, because this chapter of life can be gut-wrenching, exhausting and just plain confusing. Information is power — for you, your partner, your children, your friends and colleagues. Menopause can also be an incredibly isolating time for women, and now — more than ever — we need connection.

So, let’s get a little uncomfortable.


EPISODE 1: The Grandmother Hypothesis — Sept. 20

In this episode, Kathy dives into the big why. Why do we go through "the change?" Anthropology professor Kristen Hawkes takes us to Africa, where the study of one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes led her to this conclusion: menopause is an adaptive advantage.

EPISODE 2: Menopause In Any Language — Oct. 4

Vasomotor symptoms, aka hot flashes and night sweats, are the most common manifestations of menopause. Women of all cultures have different names for it and ways to cope. Kathy talks to professor Lynette Sievert, a biological anthropologist at UMASS Amherst, whose studies of menopausal women span the globe.

EPISODE 3: A Time Of Risk — Oct. 18

The menopausal transition can affect our cardiovascular health in ways that can’t be explained by age alone. Dr. Rebecca Thurston is a principal investigator for SWAN, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, and also leads the MSHEART and the MSBRAIN studies, which look at menopause and the cardiovascular/brain connection.

EPISODE 4: About Hormones — Nov. 1

We’re calling this episode Menopausal Hormone Therapy 101. We won’t cover everything. Think of it like a primer so you can more comfortably talk to your provider — or know when to walk away. Joining us is Dr. Stephanie Faubion, director of Mayo Clinic Center for Women's Health in Florida; she’s also medical director of the Menopause Society.

EPISODE 5: Menopause And The Workplace — Nov. 15

We know many women will experience menopausal symptoms, and they don’t just happen at home. Tamsen Fadal, an Emmy Award-winning TV journalist and now menopause advocate, talks about navigating those symptoms at work. We’ll also hear from Dr. Jewel Kling, a professor of medicine and chair of the division of Women's Health Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

EPISODE 6: Menopause And Sex — Nov. 29

In this episode, we talk about the intersection between sex and menopause. Between 17% and 45% of postmenopausal women say they find sex painful and that’s where Dr. Debra Wickman, the director of female sexual medicine, vulva disorders and menopause health at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix comes in. She talks about how women often tolerate painful sex and why embracing our intimate anatomy is, in some ways, the first step towards healing.