1. Healthcare for Women in Menopause Clarissa Kristjansson 44:20

In this episode of Thriving Through Menopause, OBGYN Dr. Cat Brown discusses the importance of women receiving proper treatment during perimenopause and Menopause.

She explains that the founders of Winona, a women’s health clinic, started the clinic to address the access to care issue for Menopause care. Dr. Brown emphasizes the gap in healthcare and the ongoing stigma surrounding hormone replacement therapy (HRT) due to negative information from the Women’s Health Initiative study. She also highlights the need for healthcare providers to be more comfortable and knowledgeable about treating Menopause symptoms.

In this conversation, Dr Cat Brown and Clarissa discuss hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a treatment for Menopause symptoms. They highlight the benefits of HRT in managing physical symptoms such as hot flashes, low mood, and vaginal dryness. They also address the misconceptions and fears surrounding hormone therapy, including the use of bioidentical hormones and testosterone.

Dr. Cat emphasizes the importance of finding a provider who listens to your concerns and offers evidence-based treatment options. They also discuss the need for reliable sources of information on Menopause and HRT.


Access to care for Menopause treatment is a significant issue, and telemedicine platforms like Winona are helping to make care more readily available.

There is a gap in healthcare when it comes to women’s health, and many providers dismiss women’s symptoms due to a lack of comfort and experience with treating Menopause.

The negative information from the Women’s Health Initiative study has created a stigma around hormone replacement therapy, leading to a reluctance among providers to prescribe it.

Women should take an inventory of their symptoms and keep a symptom diary to share with their healthcare provider, as this information is invaluable in determining the appropriate treatment.

Women experiencing brain fog and mental changes should recognize that these symptoms can be related to perimenopause and Menopause.

Women should focus on lifestyle changes, including exercise, nutrition, and sleep hygiene, to optimize their health during this transition.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves using hormones that are chemically identical to those produced by the body, while traditional HRT often uses synthetic hormones.

Birth control pills are not an appropriate treatment for Menopause symptoms, as they are designed to suppress ovulation and prevent pregnancy.

Bioidentical forms of hormones are generally preferred, as the body better assimilates them and can be used at lower doses.

SSRIs and antidepressants are often prescribed for Menopause symptoms, but they are not frontline medications and may not address the underlying hormonal changes.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for Menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, low mood, and vaginal dryness. HRT can also have preventive benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and dementia.

Finding a healthcare provider who listens to your concerns and takes your symptoms seriously is important. Be cautious of providers who dismiss your symptoms or immediately prescribe birth control pills for Menopause symptoms.

Seek reliable sources of information on Menopause and HRT, such as reputable medical websites and organizations.

The Sound Bites

02:10 The Role of Winona in Women’s Health

04:32 The Lack of Education on Menopause in Medical Training

05:13 The Intersection of Menopause and Women in the Workplace

06:41The Journey of Women at Winona

07:10 Taking Inventory of Symptoms

08:12 Tracking Mental Changes During Menopause

09:15 The Importance of Recognizing Perimenopause Symptoms

10:17 The Need for a Multi-Faceted Approach to Managing Perimenopause

11:30 Lifestyle Changes for Managing Perimenopause

13:42 Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

15:57 The Difference Between Bioidentical and Synthetic Hormones

19:43 The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

21:07 Different Forms of Progesterone

23:47 The Role of Testosterone and DHEA

24:18 The Use of DHEA for Vaginal Dryness

26:21 Hormone Replacement Therapy as a Preventative Medication

29:07 Navigating the Confusion Around Menopause Information

29:22 What to Look for in a Menopause Provider

33:47 Finding Reliable Sources of Menopause Information

36:19 The Importance of Reputable Sources for Menopause Information

39:03 Accessing Resources on the Winona Website

Connect with Winona https://bywinona.com/

Follow Dr Cat https://www.instagram.com/drcatobgyn/

Follow  @thrivingthrumenopause  https://www.instagram.com/thrivingthrumenopause/

Grab a copy of Clarissa’s latest book Beyond Hormones: 7 Holistic Ways to Thrive Through Menopause https://bit.ly/49XBI1a

Get full access to Heart of Menopause at clarissakristjansson.substack.com/subscribe

Clarissa Kristjansson Independant Podcaster

At 62 Clarissa Kristjansson knows that menopause can be positive, transformational and an upgrade in our creativity. Clarissa is an internationally recognized menopause educator, third-age women's health coach, and certified mindfulness and medical qi gong practitioner.

A neuroscientist and former corporate high-flyer it was her own perimenopause experience that set her on a different path to empower women. And by cracking open the conversation about our beliefs and behaviour we can shift the collective mindset to seeing menopause not as the end but as an opportunity for reinvention and revitalization.

She is the host of the popular Thriving Thru Menopause podcast.