Okay, so you think you or someone you love might be experiencing perimenopause symptoms. Don’t freak out! The first thing you should know is that you’re not going crazy and you’re NOT ALONE! Millions of women all over the world are experiencing similar challenges – 6,000 women enter menopause each day. I know you might have a hard time with not being “fine,” but it’s okay. Take a deep breath. We can’t all be “fine” all the time!
The most important thing to do is find a healthcare provider who specializes in perimenopause and menopause. Here are some tips on how to find one and get on your way to finding the perimenopause help you need and deserve. Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN.
Why Find a Specialist in Perimenopause and Menopause?
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:
- Recognize and diagnose your perimenopause symptoms.
- Run the proper blood work and tests.
- Partner with you to determine the treatment approaches that are right for you.
- Make the necessary adjustments to your treatments on an ongoing basis.
Alleviating perimenopause symptoms can be a complicated process, and you need professional advice that you can rely on and are comfortable with. 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.
Tips on Finding a Specialist in Perimenopause and Menopause
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 Doctor Directory. These specialists have been recommended by women who have found hormone happiness! In addition, if you know a great doctor who specializes in another field, this is a great place to start. Great doctors often know other great menopause 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, friends and local e-mail lists for a recommendation of someone who provides good perimenopause 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 help.
Once you have a list of menopause specialists, it’s time to do some MORE research. Yay!
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 doctor is currently licensed. Here are some useful sites:
Interview Your Potential Doctor
You’re looking for assistance with your perimenopause symptoms, which is great! The next step is to interview them. Just think about it, what would you do before you hire a new employee or assistant? Have an interview! Same goes with your healthcare professional. Most specialists will not charge for this consultation, and if they do, it’s probably money well spent. You want to be completely comfortable with your specialist—after all, he or she is your new business partner in your menopause business! This is a good time to think inside the box. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or walk away if it’s not the right fit. Here are some tips on how to approach your interview:
- Spend a couple weeks filling out my Menopause Symptoms Chart. Sign up for my Menopause Mondays Newsletter and you will get a free downloadable version. Fill this chart our for at least two weeks and take it with you to your appointment. This way, you can not just tell, but show your specialist how you’re feeling.
- Bring an advocate. This can be a friend, relative, or partner. Bring someone who will be comfortable advocating along with you in your quest for perimenopause help. Another set of ears is always beneficial.
- Ask any and ALL questions about your perimenopause symptoms. Seriously, don’t hold anything back. Bring a note pad with all the questions you have. It is helpful to jot down the answers so you can refer back to this later.
- Get a feel for the specialist’s approach. For instance, what tests do they typically run and what approaches does he or she endorse for treatment options?