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 shmirshkies all over the world are experiencing similar challenges. 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 doctor who specializes in perimenopause and menopause. Here are some tips on how to find a great doctor and get on your way to finding the perimenopause help you need. Be sure not to hide your shmirshky under a bush! Reaching out is IN. Suffering in silence is OUT!
Why Find a Specialist in Perimenopause and Menopause?
Finding a gynecologist who specializes in perimenopause symptoms is critical for your well-being. This might not be the same doctor 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. This doctor 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.
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 doctor as a business partner, and don’t be afraid to be picky! I went through several doctors before I found one who was right for me. Choosing the right doctor is the first step in getting the perimenopause help you need.
Tips on Finding a Doctor Who Specializes in Perimenopause Help
Many women spend more time researching hotels, hairdressers, and restaurants than researching doctors. Don’t skimp on your shmirshky! You have to do your research. If you know a great doctor who specializes in another field, this is a great place to start. Great doctors often know other great doctors! 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 doctors as well. You can check out the North American Menopause Society for some assistance in finding doctors who specialize in perimenopause help.
Once you have a list of doctors, it’s time to do some MORE research. Yay!
First things first, Google the doc’s name. We Google celebrities all the time—why not check out your doctor too? Then visit your state medical licensing board’s Web site to verify that the doctor is currently licensed. Here are some useful sites to check up on your doctor:
American Board of Medical Specialties
American Medical Association
Interview Your Potential Doctor
You’re looking for assistance with your perimenopause symptoms, which is great! The next step is to interview the doctor. Just think about it, what would you do before you hire a new employee or assistant? Have an interview! Same goes with doctors. Most doctors 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 the shmirshky 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 the Menopause Symptoms Chart (available inside every copy of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness) so that you can not just tell, but show your doctor 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, shmirshkies, 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 doctor’s approach to his or her specialty. For instance, what tests does your doctor typically run and what approaches does he or she endorse for treatment options?
Looking for more perimenopause help and information? Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness, has more information on how to deal with perimenopause symptoms, how to find the right doctor who specializes in perimenopause help, and different treatments and tests you can ask about. Shmirshky is the first book on menopause of its kind. Sign up for the Menopause Mondays Newsletter, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.