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Know Before You Go!

Hey there!

Got an upcoming doctor’s visit? We totally get wanting to make the most of it and get all the info you need. Here are some tips to help you out:

Before the Visit:

1. When you make the appointment, ask specifically to discuss menopause. Let the scheduler know that this is what you want to talk about. I read this interesting study presented at the 2021 NAMS conference that found women were more likely to get treatment for their symptoms when the appointment was focused on menopause. So, it's worth mentioning!

2. Start tracking your symptoms a few weeks before your visit. Keep a journal of what's going on, when symptoms happen, and how often. This will give your doctor a clear understanding of what's happening. Also, make sure to document your medications, supplements, allergies, and know your family history. This info can affect treatment options. If you've had recent blood work or tests, send them to the doctor ahead of time.

3. Think about what you want to achieve from the appointment. Consider your goals, your top nagging symptoms, and the type of care you're looking for. It's helpful to write down your questions beforehand so you don't have to rely on your memory in the moment. Trust me, it's easy to forget!

During the Visit:

1. Give your provider a heads up. At the beginning of the appointment, when a nurse or medical assistant is taking your vitals, just remind them of the reason for your visit. Something like, "Please let the doctor know I have some questions about menopause I'd like to discuss."

2. Slow down the room. Visits at busy clinics can feel rushed. You can slow things down by engaging in some personal conversation. Ask the nurse or medical assistant a question like, "What's your name again?" This little chit-chat tends to create a pause and shift the focus to you. It's an opportunity to restart the conversation with renewed focus from your provider.

3. Ask your doctor about her approach to menopause. Find out about her experience in treating menopause and whether she's certified by the North American Menopause Society. It's also good to ask about her general approach to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and supplements for menopause treatment.

4. Be clear when describing your symptoms. Don't hold back! Be specific about how often you experience headaches, how long they last, your sleep patterns, vaginal dryness, and any concerns you have. Let her know you're worried or bothered by these symptoms.

5. If you want specific tests, don't be afraid to ask. Some doctors may say they're unnecessary, but if it's important to you, make sure to ask. You can even request that they document in your chart that you asked for the tests and the doctor declined.

After the Visit:

1. Schedule a follow-up appointment if you need more information or want to continue the conversation. Specify the purpose of the follow-up to ensure you get the information you're looking for. You deserve to have all your questions answered!

2. If the doctors you're seeing don't meet your needs, don't hesitate to find another one or get a second opinion. Trust your gut and take care of yourself. Remember, if you don't advocate for your health, who will?

We hope these tips help you make the most of your doctor visit! You've got this, and we are here cheering you on!

Recommended local Doctors from the North American Menopause Society (North American Menopause Society (NAMS) - Focused on Providing Physicians, Practitioners & Women Menopause Information, Help & Treatment Insights and from the providers who administer the Dutch Test for hormone testing

Note: we are in the process of vetting these doctors and have no direct experience with any of them but this is a good place to start. If you do have experience please send us a private message of your experience

Lighthouse Natural Medicine

Dr. Raqel Tingey

Dr Wendy Ellis

Astrid Pujari MD

Maple Leaf Naturopathy

Dr Jessica Handcock

Seattle Integrative Medicine

Dr Melissa McCarty

Dr Jenna Rayachoti

Centered In Wellness

Dr Emily Passic

A Greater Whole

Dr Tacita Robertson

True Care Integrative

Dr Evangelynn Honegger

Colleen Hayes ND

Dr Colleen Hayes

Seattle Functional Health

Claudine Kubesh, MD

Swedish OB/GYN Specialists - Edmonds

Tami Corbett, ARNP

Swedish OB/GYN Specialists - Edmonds

Reena Vasavada-Parikh

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