Episode 99

Thriving in menopause: Insights from a leading researcher and advocator Prof Mary Ann Lumsden


March 28th, 2023

48 mins 15 secs

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About this Episode

*The information in this podcast is intended for Healthcare Practitioners.

Despite women spending more of their lives in a post-menopausal state, there has been limited progress in how society views and supports menopausal women. In this episode, we are joined by Professor Mary Anne Lumsden, a leading researcher and menopause advocate, to examine menopause from all angles. Professor Lumsden explains that with appropriate biopsychosocial support, menopausal women can thrive and be revered.

The conversation begins by exploring the evolutionary theory of the grandma hypothesis, which suggests that menopause is a feature rather than a bug. We delve into the menopausal transition and how symptoms, such as hot flushes, are not solely driven by an absolute estrogen deficiency. In this light, non-hormonal treatments are explored. Additionally, Professor Lumsden outlines the latest updates on the benefits and risks of menopausal hormone replacement therapy, suggesting that the risks may have been overstated in the past.

We then turn to the health challenges that menopausal women often face, such as unwanted weight gain, body composition changes, osteoporosis, and dementia. Professor Lumsden provides insights on evidence-based clinical strategies to support women during this transitional phase of life.

Tune in for a menopausal masterclass that offers an evolutionary, biopsychosocial, and clinical perspective on how menopausal women can thrive.

Mary Ann Lumsden is the CEO of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics and former Professor of Medical Education & Gynaecology and Head of Reproductive & Maternal Medicine, University of Glasgow. She is Past Senior Vice President for Strategy at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London. Mary Ann has considerable experience of developing Guidelines. She was Chair of the Guidelines Development Group for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline ‘Menopause: Investigation and Management’. Her success in this field was recognised in 2017 when she was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for Services to Women’s Health.


Lumsden MA, Sassarini J. The evolution of the human menopause. Climacteric. 2019;22(2):111-116. doi:10.1080/13697137.2018.1547701

Santen RJ, Heitjan DF, Gompel A, et al. Approach to Managing a Postmenopausal Patient. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020;105(12):dgaa623. doi:10.1210/clinem/dgaa623

Zhang GQ, Chen JL, Luo Y, et al. Menopausal hormone therapy and women's health: An umbrella review. PLoS Med. 2021;18(8):e1003731. Published 2021 Aug 2. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003731