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Perimenopause and menopause are a time of significant change. Hormonal changes can affect your whole body, genitourinary system, and mood. 

Surprisingly, only 31% of OBGYN training programs offer formal menopause education (1). This means nearly 70% of OBGYNs are not receiving training on how to support women in menopause. If you want to optimize your health and well-being through the next 30 years of your life, it’s key to find a doctor who is trained in menopause.

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The Best Way to Get Perimenopause and Menopause Care in 2024

1. Find a physician or gynecologist trained in menopause

Menopause is a significant stage in your life, and it is a unique opportunity for a dialogue between you and your healthcare provider on how to support your health in the years to come. If your primary care doctor or gynecologist is not trained in menopause, then it may be helpful to work with a menopause-trained specialist. 

To help you find a menopause specialist near you, the Menopause Society (NAMS) has created a database of certified health professionals. These medical professionals must complete coursework and exams to become a NAMS-certified menopause practitioner (NCMP).

When you’re looking for menopause help, the medical credentials on the Menopause Society database can be confusing. We recommend working with an MD, which means medical doctor. 

2. Know your symptoms

One of the best ways to get the most out of your perimenopause and menopause care is to track your symptoms. We make this super easy with an online tool that helps you identify your stage of menopause, track your symptoms, and build an evidence-based toolkit you can discuss with your doctor. 

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3. Consider your personal preferences

When you voice your concerns, values, and preferences, your menopause practitioner can help you enhance your sense of well-being not only during perimenopause and menopause, but for the remainder of your life.

Here are some examples:

  • "I prefer to manage my health through diet and exercise."
  • "Antidepressants have been ineffective for me, and I prefer not to use them."
  • "I'd like to try vaginal estrogen."
  • "My mother had breast cancer, which makes me cautious about using any type of hormones."

What’s best for you will depend on your preferences and health history. In any case, you should listen to what your physician recommends, while seeking to understand the risks and benefits.

4. Red flags

When it comes to perimenopause and menopause care, there are a few red flags to be aware of.

  • Dismissiveness. Examples of dismissiveness include “You’re too young to be in menopause”, “This is normal for your age”, “Your tests came back normal”.
  • Compounded bioidentical hormones. The term “bioidentical” hormone therapy can be misleading because there are both government-approved and compounded bioidentical hormone therapies. Compounded medications are less safe since they are not tested by the government, do not come with safety information, and are delivered in untested methods such as pellets and implants. Providers of compounded medications will recommend saliva, blood, or urine tests to measure if your hormones are in range, but these tests are unreliable.
  • Hormone testing. You can benefit from hormone testing if you are measuring your fertility. You can also benefit if you are under 45 years old and have not had a period for 3 months. Otherwise, hormone tests will only create more confusion and expense. Why? Hormone testing will not help or change the management of your symptoms. You can’t predict menopause based on hormone tests, since hormones fluctuate dramatically during perimenopause. Hormone testing is also not helpful to determine dosing of hormone therapy, since these tests are not sensitive enough to provide useful data.

Let us help you find a medical doctor or gynecologist specializing in perimenopause and menopause.

Call (909) 378-6899 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm (PST) to speak with our physician referral specialists. Or browse our offerings of FDA-approved menopause treatments.