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167 | Mastering Midlife: Expert Tips on Perimenopause and Menopause with Dr. Carol Lynn OB/GYN

Updated: May 13

Today, we're joined by the wonderful Dr. Carol Lynn, an OB/GYN from Collierville, Tennessee, who's passionate about women's health and wellness. If perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause are on your radar, you're in for a treat because Dr. Lynn will be joining us monthly to shed light on these topics.

Dr. Carol Lynn, guest on Life Coach BFF Show discusses all things menopause and midlife.
Dr. Carol Lynn

But wait, there's more! We've opened up a brand-new private Facebook group called Midlife Moxie, where we're coming to you live, answering questions, and building a community of support. So, don't miss out; join us there! @MidlifeMoxie


In this episode, you will learn:

-Expert Tips on Perimenopause and Menopause with Dr. Carol Lynn OB/GYN~Navigating the Transition: From Perimenopause to Menopause to Postmenopause

~Lifestyle Tips and Dietary Advice for Midlife Wellness

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 Host, Heather Pettey *Apply for private coaching here

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*Quick Disclaimer- Heather Pettey is a certified coach and not a therapist. Always seek the support of a therapist for clinical mental health issues. 



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Welcome back to life coach BFF show. I'm your host, and I have a terrible voice today. I'm so sorry. Just bear with me, please. The springtime weather in Tennessee has gotten to me. So we are going to press on. Today I'm thrilled to be here with you. I love to connect right here on this platform. And we have a special guest, Dr. Carol Lynn. She is an OB/GYN practicing in Collierville, Tennessee. And Carol loves making a difference in the lives of women and ministering to them through health and wellness. So if these issues, perimenopause, menopause,

postmenopause are affecting you right now. You are going to want to be a part of this she will be joining us once a month as a good Southerner, Dr. Lynn is passionate about sEC Football, especially Ole Miss. So make yourself comfortable and get ready. We're going to dive right in with Dr. Carol Lynn. One more thing before we go. Dr. [00:01:00] Lynn and I have opened up a private Facebook group. It's called Midlife Moxie, M O X I E. We would love to see you there. Go join. We're coming in live. We're answering questions on a weekly basis. This community has already started growing. We just opened it up a little over a week ago. So come hang out with us over there. All right, here we go.

Life Coach BFF show with me, your friend Heather, because we all need a BFF to take this journey called Life With. This is a podcast for midlife women who want to remain sane and find joy . We're living with purpose and determination to get all the goodie out of life, because I believe God made the goodie for His people, you and me.

So hop aboard this train of intention, come and sit on my porch and rest, or pop in your earbuds and let's take a walk together. I'm just so grateful [00:02:00] you're here.

All right, welcome to the show. I'm so happy you're here. I'm so glad to be here. It's official. I know. It's, it's a good start. It's a great start for us. Yes. Okay. We are talking about today, Dr. Lynn, about perimenopause and menopause.

Yes. Important topics for women our age. Yes. It's a rough time. It is a rough time. It doesn't have to be. I mean, there's, there's fortunately there's medications and stuff out there that can kind of help treat all this. I think that one of the biggest things, confusing things is what are the definitions?

What, what is perimenopause? What is menopause? What is postmenopause? What is premenopause? Cause we hear all these terms, but really what, what are they? So I usually will say, Pre menopause is anything before you have actually gone through menopause. So, this is your childbearing years, your, you know, right after puberty, [00:03:00] that's all pre menopause.

Menopause itself is defined as no period for one year. And then usually we're checking hormones. We'll see what your follicle stimulating hormone looks like. See if that's in the menopausal range as well. And then perimenopause is that time that can be 10, 12 years before we actually stop having periods.

Average age of menopause is 51, 52, but sometimes perimenopause can start As early as 36, 37. Oh, wow. I did not know that. So how do you know if you're in, I don't even know. I'm sure I went through perimenopause, but I feel like I kind of missed out. Like I didn't know, you know, I never knew to say, Hey, I'm in perimenopause.

Like, how do you know? Well, there's so many symptoms and I do say some people are lucky and go through it gracefully. So you may have gone through it very gracefully. Probably not. We should [00:04:00] ask your husband. We'll see how graceful you went through it. . But knows some of the symptoms can be so just.

Obscure symptoms like, Oh, my knees are starting to ache. My hips are starting to ache. Just some joint pain. Maybe you're getting night sweats. Maybe it's not really sweaty. Like you're not, you'll hear people, women talk about soaking their sheets, but it's also the kicking the covers off, putting the covers back on all those things like that.

Getting a little edgy, a little irritable when normally that stuff wouldn't, things wouldn't have bothered you. One of the interesting things that I never thought about till I kind of read about it and then I'm like, Oh yeah, this happens to me. It's like sensitivity to. Excessive noise and excessive sounds.

And so maybe that's why our moms were turning our music off back when we were teenagers. That's why I do it now though. Yeah. Maybe she just didn't want to hear Sean Cassidy, but you know, I can't imagine. [00:05:00] Me either. But, and then of course, other things are going to be menstrual changes your skin changes.

Maybe your skin's getting oilier. Maybe your skin's getting drier. Maybe you're getting chin hairs. And this is perimenopause. This is all perimenopause. Hey, gosh, there was a lot going on. It is a lot. So it's different organ systems, you know, like your gut, maybe, You have never had problems with bowel issues and now all of a sudden you're constipated or you're having, you know, bouts of diarrhea, just all just real subtle things that we attribute to stress or we attribute to, oh, I'm getting older, but all of those things can be hormone related.

So I didn't even realize all that went on during perimenopause. So how do we know when we've crossed over in, if all that is happening, perimenopause, how do we know when we've crossed over into menopause? So menopause is. When you are menopausal, you [00:06:00] have stopped your period. So that's that one year. And it's basically, I heard somebody describe it at it's one day.

It's the day you don't have a period for a year. That's menopause. And then welcome to postmenopausal. So much to look forward to. Like, okay, well, that's over now we're postmenopausal. And so the postmenopausal. That's when you're really getting your hot flashes, your night sweats, your vaginal dryness what are other, oh, the brain fog.

You can't remember what you were talking about. Or you walk in a room and you cannot remember why you came in that room. I do that daily. Oh, that's terrible. Do you think I'm postmenopausal? I think I probably am. Do you still have periods? No, I had a hysterectomy when I was 30. Do you still have ovaries? I do.

How old are you? 52. You may, I would check some hormone levels. Yeah. So see where your FSH is. That's the thing. When you've had a hysterectomy, you know, you don't have that last [00:07:00] period or, you know, you can't really go by, by your cycles, but we do go by symptoms and we do go by labs. So you can definitely have your doctor check your, check your labs.

Okay, what about, now it's all coming to me. Okay, so I went through this two week period where I cried, just non stop cried. And in fact, I went to see your nurse practitioner and I told her, this is probably, Two years ago, I said, I cannot stop crying. And I was smiling all the time and I said, but and I'm probably going to start crying, telling you that I'm cannot stop crying.

And then I started bawling crime. Yeah. And so what stage is that? That's probably perimenopause. I laughed when I was first out in private practice. I was, oh gosh, 30, I guess. And my least you'd pull a chart out. With us back, we had paper charts. And you'd pull a chart out, and you'd see she was 42 to 55.[00:08:00]

Oh. I would just walk through with a box of Kleenex and say, Hey, I'm Dr. Lynn. And they would just start bawling, crying. And I was like, that's my least favorite patient. And now that's like my favorite patient. Cause that's me. Yeah, I do all that. Yeah. So, but but yeah, that's, that's perimenopause. Your hormones are changing.

You don't feel right in your skin. Little things that normally would not have triggered you or upset you. Now you're getting triggered and upset. Okay, but now I've moved into the phase where I don't care. Yeah! Like, I don't care. I don't care about anything. I do not care. That, that old red dress, purple hat stage.

I don't care. I mean, I do not care. Yes, and I think that's a good place to be. So, and not, you know, some of that is like your mental, Well being and mental health, maybe not mental health changes, but mental changes that you get with early menopause and that feeling [00:09:00] uneasy. And then you kind of get past that and you feel good, or maybe you get on hormones and you feel more stable.

Or a lot of people, if they can't take hormones, maybe they've gotten put on a low dose antidepressant and they feel better. Yeah. Well, she gave me progesterone. Again, the hormone. So that's the thing you want to check. Okay. Usually what we see typically with lab work is for perimenopause and menopause, usually you will see the progesterone and testosterone levels drop first.

And then that's kind of what causes some of the irregular cycles decreased energy, decreased libido, all that stuff that kind of happens along those lines. Those lines. And then the estrogen is usually one of the last things to drop. And that's when you get the hot flashes. Maybe you get the more of the joint aches.

And then the vaginal dryness that goes with that. So yeah, talk to your doctor, get your levels checked, see kind of where everything is sitting because there's things that we can, you know, [00:10:00] tweet to actually make you feel a lot better. That sounds so good. Okay. So what, this is the last question for today because you're going to come back on and we're going to take each of these things.

We'll break them down, really dive into them. Promise me you'll do that. Okay. Are there any in the meantime, are there any lifestyle changes or dietary modifications that can help alleviate some of these symptoms? So Y'all may not want to hear this, but sometimes red wine can make you have more hot flashes.

So that's a decrease in alcohol consumption, which that's so sad. Maybe I'll just take an antidepressant. Don't give up the wine. But no, alcohol does a lot of times can cause, especially interruptions with sleep and, you know, hot flashes that kind of thing. Excess sugar, which that's kind of my, that's my vice, but the sugar, the, the insulin changes, the glucose changes.

A lot of [00:11:00] times that is inflammatory to your joints that makes your joint pains worse. Again, can make hot flashes and that kind of thing where you just feel like Your sugar's off or, or, you know, is this a hot flash or is this something I've ate that's kind of making me jittery or whatever. So watching sugar intake, watching alcohol intake, get lots and lots of water, lots and lots of sleep, sleep helps, especially if you're having a lot of those sleep issues, maybe it's worth taking something at bedtime to kind of help you relax.

I know I took a lot of Valerian route back. Oh, probably like five or six years ago going through this. That seemed to help and it's just a over the counter supplement, but it seemed to kind of relax you. And it's made out of passion, passion fruit, passion flower. That's exciting. So it just kind of gives you something to start with.

There's some over the counter progesterone creams that are not prescription strength. And I've had a lot of patients, especially [00:12:00] early on, have good success with that. Just rubbing the cream on the wrist. So that may help. Yeah. And if you can give me the names of those, I'll put those in the show notes.

Oh yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. We can shop. Well, thank you so much. And next time we'll dive into specifics more on this. Yes. I'm excited. We got a lot to talk about. Yes. for having me. 




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