Though every woman will go through menopause at some point in her life, it’s seldom discussed in standard medicine. Many healthcare providers receive little to no training regarding specific issues around menopausal health. That’s why we recommend seeking support from a trained specialist who is well-trained in areas related to your health as you transition through menopause.
This article goes over what a menopause specialist can do, how to find one, and what questions to ask during your consultation. If you’re interested in learning more about whether you’re entering menopause, take our menopause quiz, found here.
What Is a Menopause Specialist?
The American Board of Medical Specialties doesn’t officially recognize any designation related to “menopause specialist.” However, this shouldn’t discourage you from seeking help from an expert who’s spent extensive years studying and working with women during the transition years.
One of your best resources for finding a specialist who can support your needs is through the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). This is a large non-profit organization dedicated to the health of women as they age. Members of this organization come from different backgrounds in medicine, mental healthcare, and nutrition.
Professionals can seek training and earn certifications through NAMS, which is a highly recognized designation. While looking for a women’s intimate health specialist, You may look for a healthcare provider who is NCMP certified (NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner). However, don’t limit your search specific to this certification. You can find plenty of well-trained, highly qualified providers who manage menopause issues. When you take your time to research providers, ask many questions, and get referrals — you’ll find yourself in good hands.
How Do I Find Menopause Specialists Near Me?
One of your best resources is referrals. NAMS hosts a database of specialists that is easy to search. You may also ask your friends and family for recommendations or a trusted healthcare provider.
When it comes to your health, take a proactive approach. Start the conversation early with your general practitioner and gynecologist. Pay attention to your body, and use tools to help you track changes — whether it’s a notebook, notes on your phone, or a tracking app.
How Do I Know My Provider is The Right Choice?
It’s vital to interview providers to ensure you are in good hands. You may love your primary care physician, but they may not be suited to support you as you transition through menopause.
These are some questions we recommend asking when seeking support:
- How many women do you work with who are in menopause?
- What are your views on HRT?
- What lifestyle changes do you recommend during menopause?
- Are you certified by NAMS?
- How do you treat patients in menopause? Does this differ for patients who haven’t entered menopause yet?
- What types of outcomes have you seen with menopause patients?
Above all, trust your gut. You need a provider that makes you feel safe and comfortable. You’ll want someone with whom you can openly discuss sex, intimacy, hot flashes, vaginal wellness during menopause, and other symptoms that come up. You’ll also want a doctor who listens, is empathetic, and understands how to address your issues.