Feature Story | 6-Feb-2024

Are you asking the right questions to make the most of your menopause healthcare visit?

Video outlines how and what patients should prepare for before seeing their healthcare professionals

The Menopause Society

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Feb 6, 2024)—When you only get to spend roughly 15 minutes with your healthcare professional during a visit, it might be difficult to come away with all the answers you need, especially when transitioning through a major life phase such as menopause. That’s why The Menopause Society’s latest video, Preparing for Your Menopause Healthcare Visit, can help maximize the time you have and prepare you for the appointment.

A survey conducted in the spring of 2023 by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times, with Essence and Latina magazines, concluded that only 66% of women aged 40 to 64 years had discussed menopause and treatments such as hormone therapy with their healthcare professionals during their most recent exam. That’s likely because half of those surveyed said they spent only 15 minutes or less with their doctor or other provider.

So how can you make the most of your limited time with your healthcare professional? In this latest video, Dr. Marla Shapiro, past president of The Menopause Society, interviews Drs. Gloria Bachmann and Nancy Phillips from Rutgers for their recommendations.

The first tip is to come to the visit prepared. Do your homework in advance to better understand your symptoms and what might be causing them. Write down questions so you don’t forget anything. Make a list of your symptoms, including how often and what time of day you are typically experiencing them.

Second, don’t be too embarrassed to ask questions or discuss the details of your symptoms. “Inside your healthcare professional’s office should feel like a safe space where you can confidently discuss topics you may not feel comfortable discussing anywhere else,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director for The Menopause Society.

Third, don’t assume your symptoms are a normal part of aging and should simply be dismissed. “There is no such thing as normal when it comes to the menopause transition because every woman’s experience is a bit different,” says Dr. Faubion. “And even if it seems like a lot of other women are experiencing similar issues, there is no need to suffer when there are so many treatment options available today.”

Fourth, understand that menopause symptoms can take many forms. “Whether your symptoms relate to problems with the bladder, such as incontinence, or even sexual dysfunction, these can all be related symptoms that should be addressed during your menopause healthcare visit,” adds Dr. Faubion.

Finally, schedule a follow-up visit, if necessary. If you can’t get all your questions addressed within the appointment, don’t hesitate to schedule a follow-up visit. It is important that you fully understand your symptoms and the treatment options so that you can make an informed decision about your health.

As part of its efforts to educate women about what to expect during the menopause transition and how they can best manage their symptoms, The Menopause Society has created a comprehensive video and podcast series for women on an array of important midlife health topics. Visit menopause.org to see all the current videos.

The Menopause Society (formerly The North American Menopause Society) is dedicated to empowering healthcare professionals and providing them with the tools and resources to improve the health of women during the menopause transition and beyond. As the leading authority on menopause since 1989, the nonprofit, multidisciplinary organization serves as the independent, evidence-based resource for healthcare professionals, researchers, the media, and the public and leads the conversation about improving women’s health and healthcare experiences. To learn more, visit menopause.org.

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