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Menopause Checklist: 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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As you enter the menopause transition, it’s a good idea to see your primary care provider or a clinician (such as a gynecologist) who is a certified menopause practitioner to help you manage symptoms and stay on the path to long-term health.* To help you get the most out of that visit, print this list of questions to ask, and take it with you.

Download a PDF of the Menopause Checklist

 

What are the most common symptoms of menopause?

You may want to discuss changes in your menstrual periods, hot flashes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness.

How will I know that I’ve reached menopause?

Even though 51 is the average age of menopause for American women, defined as one year after the last menstrual period, there is a wide variation. Plus, symptoms often occur during perimenopause, the period leading up to menopause that can last from a few months up to a decade before menopause.

Will I gain weight?

Now is a good time to talk about maintaining a healthy weight to reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

How might the menopausal transition affect my sex life?

You may experience a change in your level of desire, as well as discomfort during sex. There are many solutions.

How might the menopausal transition affect my moods?

Many women experience moodiness as hormones shift. For some women, ongoing symptoms such as sleep problems can trigger depression. Let your doctor know how you’re feeling.

Will I need treatment for the menopausal transition?

It’s not a disease, and some women do fine on their own, while others benefit from symptom relief.

What are the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, and what forms are available?

Whether hormone therapy is right for you depends on your age, health history, symptoms and personal choice.

What are the risks and benefits of nonhormonal remedies?

Ask about both supplements and mind-body approaches, such as breathing exercises and cognitive therapy.

What recommendations do you have for diet, exercise, sleep and stress reduction to manage symptoms and stay healthy?

Now is a good time to discuss your goals for a healthy lifestyle.

Based on my personal history, are there any other health concerns I need to know about, monitor and/or get screened for?

Your doctor may suggest new screenings to evaluate the health of your bones, your heart and more.

*To find a certified menopause practitioner near you, consult the North American Menopause Society’s website at https://www.menopause.org/for-women/find-a-menopause-practitioner.

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Source: James A. Simon, MD, CCD, NCMP, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, The George Washington University School of Medicine, is a Washington, DC–based physician who provides patient-focused care for women across the reproductive life cycle, from adolescence to childbirth, and through the menopausal transition.
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