Menopause is a natural occurrence for women as they transition into middle-age. However, as frequently as menopause is discussed in U.S. society, many women still find it frustrating when searching for information. On this Patient Power program, host Andrew Schorr is joined by Dr. Nancy Woods, the Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Washington, as well as a nurse and researcher, Kathy Smith Di-Julio. Together they work to help women understand the various stages of menopause and different techniques for managing individual issues.
Unlike most of developmental stages, there has been minimal research about the stage known as middle-age. Dr. Woods explains that we are just beginning to understand how long menopause takes and the signs associated with different stages. Interestingly, the symptoms vary greatly from culture to culture. Listen as Dr. Woods and Ms. Di-Julio offer their thoughts about the many symptoms that get rolled up into the ball of “menopause,” but may be unfairly attributed to the phenomenon and are instead a simple sign of aging.
During the program, Dr. Woods and Ms. Di-Julio discuss common complaints from women, including mood swings, depression, sexual desire, irregular periods, vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Dr. Woods offers some simple suggestions for managing some of the symptoms, as well as explores the pros and cons associated with more involved treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy. Both women encourage other women to track their cycles on a calendar in order to help their healthcare providers give them the best treatment. Since it is still unknown whether many of these symptoms are related directly to menopause or hormonal changes, the more specific a woman can be about the changes she is experiencing, the better. The focus of this Patient Power program is on women teaching other women about their bodies and learning what is going on as they begin to experience menopause. The program is an important one for both women and their partners to begin to understand this natural transition in every woman’s life.
Nancy F. Woods, Ph.D., R.N, F.A.A.N.
Dean and Professor, School of Nursing, UW MedicineDr. Nancy Woods is the Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Washington. Her research and teaching focus is on women's health, dealing with the menopausal transition and prevention of diseases of advanced age. Dr. Woods’ has served as president of the American Academy of Nursing, and the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. more >
Kathy Smith-DiJulio, M.A., R.N.
Research Associate and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, UW MedicineKathy Smith-Dijulio is a Research Associate and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington. Her primary research focus is in women’s health and she is currently working on the Seattle Midwife Women’s Health Projects as a research scientist. Kathy is also a doctoral candidate in the school of nursing. more >