It is very important at this time of life to start a conversation with your doctor or other health care professional about what you may be experiencing. There are several types of health care professionals that you can turn to for advice and guidance, such as
Gynecologists are physicians who have completed specialized education and training in the health of the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases. They specialize in pregnancy, menopause, and reproductive health.
Primary care physicians (PCPs)
PCPs are also known as general practitioners, family practice physicians, or internal medicine physicians. They are trained to treat a broad range of medical conditions, including the symptoms of menopause. They can give you a complete health assessment, offer treatment recommendations, prescribe medication if necessary, or refer you to a specialist.
Nurse practitioners (NPs)
NPs are registered nurses (RNs) with intensive clinical experience and graduate education specific to their area of practice. They focus on general well-being and preventing health problems.
Among the duties that they may perform are physical exams (including Pap smears), care before and after menopause, and screening and referral for other health issues.
NPs can also write prescriptions.
Physicians assistants (PAs)
PAs are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs perform physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, give advice about preventive health care, and assist in surgery, all under the guidance and supervision of a physician. PAs can also write prescriptions in nearly every state in the U.S.
Your pharmacist can provide guidance related to your prescription medications, including drug interactions, dosing, use and storage, and drug selection.
Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs)
CNMs are licensed health care professionals who are educated in nursing and midwifery. They provide primary health care to menopausal women and women of childbearing age. CNMs are trained to provide prenatal care, labor and delivery care, gynecologic exams, menopausal management, and counseling in health maintenance and disease prevention.
The Menopause Health Checklist makes it easy to gather some of the information you'll need. Make an appointment with your doctor or other health care professional, and get the conversation started.