All About Seeking Your Doctor’s Help for Menopause
A recent survey of medical residents revealed the terrifying reality: less than 10% felt properly trained to manage women going through the menopausal transition. Without reliable guidance from their healthcare professionals, it’s no wonder why more than half of middle-aged women report feeling unprepared for menopause. Read on to find out why it’s crucial to see a doctor for menopause and how it can help you nurture your health throughout the transition
Why See a Doctor for Menopause
Seeing a doctor for menopause is crucial for women’s health. This is true not only during perimenopause (the stage leading up to their last period), but also in postmenopause (the years that follow the last period).
Menopause is typically diagnosed based on women’s symptoms, age, and menstrual patterns. In most cases, there’s no need to undergo any tests to confirm their menopausal status.
A menopause doctor will typically offer the following:
- Tailor the right treatment to balance hormones and relieve menopause symptoms
- Offer advice on lifestyle practices that may boost physical and emotional well-being
- Order diagnostic tests and give specialist referrals if medically necessary
- Catch signs of depression or other mental health difficulties women may overlook
- Help prevent and manage new health risks after menopause, like osteoporosis or heart disease
The Best Doctor to See for Menopause
Even though half of the world’s population goes through the transition, there is no separate medical specialty that focuses on women in menopause.
A gynecologist is generally the first option for women seeking guidance during that stage. Alternatively, their primary care physicians may provide the help they need.
What’s even more important — and sadly, more challenging — than choosing a doctor of the right specialty is finding one that has adequate training and experience in guiding women through menopause. Reading online reviews and asking around are some of the easiest and best ways to get personalized feedback.
When It’s Time to Schedule a Menopause Doctor’s Visit
Ideally, women should undergo gynecological check-ups on an annual basis so that their doctors are up to date with their menopausal status and can naturally prepare them for menopause and guide them throughout it.
In practice, however, most women don’t keep up with their yearly check-ups and schedule an appointment only when they experience bothersome symptoms or irregularities. The most common ailments that push women to seek help include hot flashes, irregular periods, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness, among others.
What to Discuss at a Menopause Check-Up
If you haven’t entered the transition yet, you can talk to your doctor about what to expect and how you can prepare for the upcoming changes. Being proactive will help you better manage whatever menopause brings.
If you have already started experiencing symptoms, openly share them with your physician and ask for recommendations customized to your medical needs. This will help you make the best choices for your health.
Some ideas of what to discuss with a menopause doctor may include: natural options to balance hormones and relieve symptoms, such as Macafem; diet and exercise to strengthen the body and stay within a healthy weight; and a long-term well-being plan after menopause.
Studies have shown that many women are too shy to share their menopausal struggles with their healthcare providers. As a result, they often feel isolated and confused about their options. Don’t delay seeing your doctor any longer. While doing so early on gives you solid advantages, it’s never too late to seek help and take control over your menopausal health.
Duke Health. (2020). Why You Should Seek Care from a Menopause Specialist. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.dukehealth.org/blog/why-you-should-seek-care-menopause-specialist
Mayo Clinic. (2022). Menopause – Diagnosis and treatment. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401
Mayo Clinic Proceedings. (2019). Menopause Management Knowledge in Postgraduate Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(18)30701-8/fulltext
Menopause. (2021). Menopause preparedness: perspectives for patient, provider, and policymaker consideration. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462440/