Female Health Masterclass | Menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy & How to Workout in Your 50’s,60’s

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Break through the complexity of women’s health in Episode #292, a masterclass featuring Professor Susan Davis AO, Dr Stacy Sims, and Dr Jen Gunter. Centred around menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), this episode cuts through the noise to bring you what you really need to know about women’s health. Drawing from the best of four highly acclaimed episodes, we offer a comprehensive exploration of menopause’s multifaceted impact on health. Discover practical strategies, informed by top experts, to guide you through this transformative life stage with confidence.

“Often [menopause is] the perfect storm: pressure at work, job dissatisfaction, worried about kids or elderly parents, and the onset of menopause. Oestrogen might help a bit, but it’s not going to help everything else.” Professor Susan Davis, AO

In this episode, you’ll hear from three brilliant minds who have dedicated their careers to women’s health research and education. Professor Susan R Davis AO brings her extensive experience from directing Monash University’s Women’s Health Research Program and her critical work on the role of sex hormones across women’s lifespan. Dr Stacy Sims, an acclaimed exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist, revolutionises our understanding of female physiology and performance, backed by her robust academic research and publications. Completing this powerhouse trio is Dr Jen Gunter, the renowned OB/GYN whose best-selling works and vocal advocacy provide a wealth of knowledge on reproductive health. Each brings a unique, evidence-based perspective to navigating the challenges and changes of menopause.

“People need to have more information about their bodies and how their bodies work.” Dr Jen Gunter

This episode takes you on a deep dive into the intricacies of menopause and the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). We unravel the biological and emotional tapestry of menopause, from its early onset and symptoms to the proactive management of its progression. Our experts shed light on the impact of HRT on cognitive function in women over 50 and 60, the role of exercise in maintaining bone density, and strategies to combat common symptoms such as night sweats and weight gain.

Additionally, we explore the specific needs of training and nutrition for women in their 60s, debunk myths surrounding menopause testing and bioidentical hormones, and discuss alternative treatments for symptom relief. This masterclass will equip you with a holistic understanding of women’s health during menopause, offering expert guidance for a confident and proactive approach to this natural life stage.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Intro (00:00)
  • What is Menopause? An Essential Definition (02:17)
  • Impact of Hysterectomy on Menopause (04:25)
  • Birth Control Pills & Their Impact on Menopause (05:48)
  • In-Depth Analysis: The Perimenopause Phase (06:11)
  • Understand Menopause Symptoms (07:11)
  • Menopause Uncovered: What’s Happening to Women? (12:15)
  • Taking Control: Proactive Menopause Management (28:24)
  • Effective Menopause Management: Expert Guidelines (32:47)
  • Exploring Hormone Replacement Therapy (41:42)
  • Hormone Therapy Insights for Women 50+ (54:32)
  • HRT’s Impact on Cognitive Health (58:15)
  • Addressing Early Onset Menopause (1:06:17)
  • Exercise Strategies for Bone Health Post-Menopause (1:26:42)
  • Managing Night Sweats and Hot Flashes (1:28:40)
  • Menopause and Weight Gain: What to Know (1:35:21)
  • Fitness and Nutrition for Women in Their 60s (1:46:19)
  • Menopause Testing (2:06:05)
  • Exploring the Grandmother Hypothesis (2:10:41)
  • Do we need Hormone Replacement Therapy? (2:14:00)
  • Bioidentical Hormones (2:21:31)
  • Alternative Solutions for Hot Flashes (2:30:22)
  • Outro (2:36:06)

A heartfelt thank you to Professor Susan Davis, Dr Stacy Sims, and Dr Jen Gunter for their invaluable insights. In a field often clouded by misinformation, their expertise shines a light on the realities of women’s health, particularly through menopause. This masterclass dispels myths and arms you with the knowledge needed to navigate this pivotal stage with confidence and clarity.

Listen to previous episodes and connect with today’s guests:

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More about Professor Susan Davis, AO

Professor Susan R Davis AO is Director, Monash University Women’s Health Research Program and an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Consultant Endocrinologist and Head, Women’s Endocrine Clinic, Alfred Hospital Melbourne, and consultant at Cabrini Medical Centre.

Her research spans basic science to clinical trials and has been pivotal in the understanding of sex hormones in women across the life span in multiple non-reproductive target tissues including the brain (cognition, mood, sexual function), cardiovascular system (lipids, vascular function, and coagulation) and other tissues (fat, muscle, joint cartilage, and bone).

Professor Davis was one of five founders of Jean Hailes for Women, one of Australia’s leading women’s health organisations. She is a past President of the International Menopause Society and a past President of the Australasian Menopause Society. She has received numerous national and international prestigious research awards including the International Research Excellence Award US Endocrine Society (2015) and Distinguished Service and Life Membership awards from the International Menopause Society (2020 and the Endocrine Society of Australia (2020) She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medicine, to women’s health as a clinical endocrinologist and researcher, and to medical education. In 2022 she was awarded the Medal of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians for her outstanding contribution and leadership in endocrinology and women’s health.

She is an advisor to the NHS Menopause Improvement Programme Steering Committee and was an advisor for the Australian National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030. She advocates for best clinical care via co-authorship of international Best Practice Guidelines (>20) and working with industry to ensure the health needs of women are understood. She has spoken before national (TGA) and international regulatory bodies, FDA (US) and EMA (Europe) as an advocate and advisor.

More about Dr Jen Gunter

Dr Jen Gunter is an internationally renowned OB/GYN and the author of two New York Times bestselling books on reproductive health, The Vagina Bible, and The Menopause Manifesto. She’d been called Twitter’s resident gynaecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and one of the fiercest advocates for women’s health. Her mission is to build a better medical internet, because to be empowered about health one must have accurate information. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Dame, The New Republic, and The Guardian. Her upcoming book Blood: The Science, Medicine, and Mythology of Menstruation will be published January 2024. She also runs a blog, The Vajenda, which is best described as the corner of facts and feminism.

More about Stacy Sims, MSC, PhD

STACY T. SIMS, MSC, PHD, is a forward-thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionize exercise nutrition and performance for women.

She has directed research programs at Stanford, AUT University, and the University of Waikato, focusing on female athlete health and performance and pushing the dogma to improve research on all women.

With the unique opportunities, Silicon Valley has to offer, during her tenure at Stanford, she had the opportunity to translate earlier research into consumer products and a science-based layperson’s book (ROAR) written to explain sex differences in training and nutrition across the lifespan. Both the consumer products and the book challenged the existing dogma for women in exercise, nutrition, and health. This paradigm shift is the focus of her famous “Women Are Not Small Men” TEDx talk.

Her contributions to the international research environment and the sports nutrition industry have established a new niche in sports nutrition; and established her reputation as the expert in sex differences in training, nutrition, and health. As a direct result, she has been named:

  • One of the top 50 visionaries of the running industry (2015) by DMSE Sports.
  • One of the top 40 women changing the paradigm of her field (2017) by Outside Magazine.
  • One of the top four visionaries in the outdoor sports industry (2017) by Outside Magazine – Genius Issue (no electronic version but here is the proof).
  • One of the top four individuals changing the landscape in triathlon nutrition (2017) by Triathlete Magazine

Dr Sims has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers, several books and is a regularly featured speaker at professional and academic conferences, including those by USOC and USA Cycling.

Stacy currently holds a Senior Research Associate position with SPRINZ- AUT University, supervises PhD students, writes academic papers, and is on the advisory board of some cutting-edge companies including Tonal Strength Institute, WILD.AI, and EXOS.  She also has her own business (www.drstacysims.com) where she creates and delivers online learning material focused on women training with their physiology across the lifespan.

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