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Alex Fulton

Alex Fulton has been working in the wellness field for more than 20 years. She has written extensively about integrative medicine, herbalism, supplements and other topics related to holistic health. Alex also focuses on issues related to women's health, from menstruation to menopause. She has collaborated with physicians, midwives and functional medicine practitioners to promote natural approaches to health care for women. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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How to Talk to Your Healthcare Provider About Menopause infographic

How To Talk to Your Healthcare Provider About Menopause

Want to have a chat about the big change, but don't know where to start?

Your Health

Medically reviewed by Dr. JoAnn V. Pinkerton

Designed by Sarah Hoctor

Infographic How to Talk to Your Healthcare Provider About Menopause. Click the image to open the PDF

Before the appointment:

  • Pay attention to changes in your cycle such as:
  • hot flashes
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • sleep disturbances
  • weight gain
  • Talk to your family about any history of:
  • Think about how your stress level or lifestyle could be affecting your cycle
  • Identify any triggers (such as hot showers, alcohol or spicy food) that make your symptoms worse
  • Consider your fears about menopause and/or treatments

What to bring:

  • A record of your menstrual periods that includes length, heaviness and cramping
  • Copies of recent labs and test results
  • Paper and pen (or your phone) for taking notes

Not sure what to ask? Consider these questions:

  • Could I be starting menopause even if I’m only in my late 30s or early 40s?
  • How long should I expect symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats to last?
  • What are my lifestyle or treatment options?
  • How do I balance the risks and benefits of medical therapy for menopausal symptoms?
  • Are there alternatives to hormone medical therapy for my symptoms?
  • If sex is painful or I’ve lost my sex drive, what can be done to help me and my relationship?
  • How do the hormonal changes of menopause affect my heart, bones, mood, sleep and overall health?

Don’t be afraid to:

  • Ask for things to be repeated or explained
  • Ask for written material or recommended links to research on your own
  • Take your time or schedule another visit to follow-up on how you are responding to treatment
  • Talk to your HCP if you’re unsure what your options are
  • Get a second opinion from a menopause specialist

Be your own advocate

Not every healthcare provider (HCP) knows about menopause — or takes it seriously. If your HCP isn’t comfortable talking about common menopause symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness or pain with sex, they may not be the right HCP for you.

If your HCP says things like this, it’s time to find a new HCP:

“Those exhausting hot flashes you just described are unavoidable during menopause. They’ll go away soon.”

“I’ve never heard of [symptom you just explained]. Are you sure it’s not all in your head?”

“That’s just a normal part of aging. There’s not really anything I can do to help you.”

“Sorry to interrupt, but I’ve got to get to my next appointment.”

Consider seeking out a menopause specialist. The North American Menopause Society certifies menopause practitioners who have undergone advanced training.

Your concerns about menopause are valid, and you deserve to be heard.

This resource was created with support from Astellas.


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