I’ve gone to the same obstetrician/gynecologist since I had my daughter 28 years ago. Since I’m now approaching menopause, I’m wondering whether I should see a gynecologist who treats women who are closer to my age.
It’s certainly worth considering. Since your ob/gyn is in the business of delivering babies, he/she may not have time to stay on top of the scientific literature on menopause or the options for managing potential menopause-related problems.
Menopause is a complex field, and our understanding of it is constantly growing. A thorough doctor/patient discussion of menopausal issues, such as the benefits and risks of hormone therapy, often takes much longer than a typical 15-minute office visit.
Keep in mind, too, that physicians get scarcely any training about menopause in medical school—it is often just one lecture! If you go to a physician who isn’t knowledgeable about this life transition, you will not get the same degree of attention to issues that can affect midlife and older women.
It is especially important to switch gynecologists if you do have bothersome menopausal symptoms—such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, moodiness, vaginal dryness and/or discomfort during sex—that are not getting addressed with your current doctor.
To find a specialist, visit the website of The North American Menopause Society at www.menopause.org, click on “For Women” and then on “Find a Menopause Practitioner.”