Wait… there is such a thing as a menopause specialist? If this is news to you, you are in the right place. Menopause can be a rocky time in life and it can make all the difference to have a knowledgeable and understanding medical provider on your side. While menopause is a natural part of life, women benefit from having a provider that can help them navigate through their symptoms. If you are thinking, “I need a menopause specialist,” read on, friend.
Why does it help to work with a menopause specialist?
As you likely already know, medical providers can specialize in certain fields. For example, some doctors choose to specialize in women’s health and become OB/GYNs (obstetrician/gynecologist). This type of provider is trained to take care of a woman across her reproductive years and beyond – from about age 18 through the postmenopause years. Many OB/GYNs focus primarily on pregnancy and childbirth, whereas others focus on breast health, female reproductive oncology (cancer), infertility, and yes, menopause. Of course, most OB/GYNs can provide care for you across your lifespan. However, finding a provider that is specialized in your area of need can make a big difference in the type of care you receive.
Menopause is more than hot flashes
Women in menopause can benefit from working with a menopause specialist because menopause symptoms can be so nebulous. Firstly, women in menopause can suffer from mental, physical, and even emotional symptoms that are part of this transition. Menopause specialists are particularly attuned to the effects of changing hormone levels.
Some of the symptoms can be scary
Many menopause symptoms are also found in health conditions as well, which makes it hard to determine if your symptoms are because of a natural physical change or for medical reasons. For example, some women experience heart palpitations in menopause. Yet, heart palpitations can also be a sign of a medical condition.
Symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Low libido
- Brain fog
- Trouble concentrating
- Hair loss
- Unexplained dizziness
- Heart palpitations
- Weight gain
- Joint pain
There are actually 34 symptoms of menopause, and some of them seem pretty bizarre. For example, burning mouth syndrome? Yes, that too can be related to menopause.
Menopause specialists are up to date with treatment options
Surprisingly, there are so many treatments and management options available for women suffering from menopause symptoms. From medication to supplements to alternative therapies, menopause specialists are more likely to be in the know of the best options to help you manage your most challenging symptoms.
I think I am in menopause. Where should I start?
If you think you are in menopause, it is a great time to meet with your doctor. The start of menopause (called perimenopause) is a perfect indication that you should have a complete health exam. If you see an OB/GYN for your routine women’s health care, talk with your doctor to get a feel for how they care for their patients in menopause. Many women also see their general medicine doctor (sometimes called family practice or internal medicine). If you have a good relationship with this doctor, ask them if they feel comfortable helping you manage your menopause symptoms. Your provider may admit that they are not as familiar with treatment options for menopause and may refer you to another provider.
Where can I find a menopause specialist near me?
As we have seen, a menopause specialist is the most likely provider to be up-to-date on current research, understanding, and treatment options for women in menopause. To become a menopause specialist, providers often take a certification course and doing additional continued education to learn more about the unique needs of women in menopause.
If you are searching for a menopause specialist near me, check out the North American Menopause Society. They have an incredible database that allows you to search for a menopause specialist near me. Providers listed in their database have requested to be listed in the database because they wish to care for women in perimenopause through postmenopause. You can also do a search for a “gynecologist menopause specialist near me” and will be directed to menopause specialists in your area.
There are menopause specialists in other medical fields as well. For example, if you have endocrine (hormone) conditions, like hypothyroidism, you may benefit from searching for an “endocrinologist menopause specialist near me.” You can search for endocrinologists at www.hormone.org. Their database allows you to specify that you would like a specialist in female health.
Links to explore for a menopause specialist near me:
North American Menopause Society
Hormone Health Network
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.