How Do I Find A Menopause Specialist?

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Dear Ellen,

I just turned 46 years old. I think I may be experiencing perimenopause. I have been pretty thrown and a bit shocked to realize this big change is upon me so early. I am a very healthy, super active, really fit woman and I did not expect to have to deal with menopause till at least my 50s!

How do I find a good specialist?

                                                                                                                                     Sincerely, Susan

 Dear Susan,

Perimenopause arrives unscheduled, uninvited, and often sooner than you think. Many women start experiencing perimenopausal symptoms as young as age 38. There is no one-size-fits-all age or right or wrong age. Unfortunately, you won’t receive a “save the date” so you can plan your outfit. The average age of menopause is 51. Remember, you are not officially in menopause unless you have been without a period but for 12 consecutive months.

Finding a menopause specialist who specializes in perimenopause symptoms is critical for your well-being. This might not be the same person who delivered your babies or has been giving you your regular Pap smear. A specialist will have the unique knowledge and skill set necessary to offer you the perimenopause help and menopause help you need. They should be able to:

  1. Recognize and diagnose your perimenopause symptoms.
  2. Run the proper blood work and tests.
  3. Partner with you to determine the treatment approaches that are right for you.
  4. Make the necessary adjustments to your treatments on an ongoing basis.

Think of your menopause specialist as a business partner, and don’t be afraid to be picky! I went through several before I found one who was right for me. Choosing the right menopause specialist is the first step in getting the perimenopause help you need.

Many women spend more time researching hotels, hairdressers, and restaurants than researching menopause specialists. Don’t skimp! You have to do your research. First, check out my Menopause Specialist Directory.  These specialists have been recommended by women who have found hormone happiness!  In addition, if you know a great specialist who specializes in another field, this is a great place to start. Great specialists often know other great specialists! Your current gynecologist might even be a good resource, as many private practices contain a variety of different specialists within the group—it doesn’t hurt to ask. Try talking to family and friends for a recommendation of someone who has provided them good perimenopause and menopause help. Med students often know great healthcare professionals as well. You can check out the North American Menopause Society for some assistance in finding healthcare professionals who specialize in perimenopause and menopause.

Additionally, you might want to consider an Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) certified practitioner.  This means that they are experienced in functional medicine, which utilizes each patient’s environment, lifestyle and genetic information to address health issues including chronic disease.

Once you have a list of menopause specialists, do some more research. First things first, Google the name. We Google celebrities all the time—why not check out your healthcare professional, too? Then visit your state medical licensing board’s Web site to verify that the specialist is currently licensed. Here are some useful sites:

Good Luck!  Keep me posted!

Remember: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN! 
Ellen

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After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.