Questions to ask a doctor about menopause, hormones and treatment
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Taking Charge of Your Health

Choosing a Doctor, Some Questions

Introduction:

The following list of questions can be helpful in the search to find a doctor for perimenopausal and menopausal women. Some require simple "yes" or "no" answers while others are more leading. How you use this list depends, among other things, on whether you live in an area where there is an abundance of doctors (more choices) or whether you are on a managed healthcare plan (limited choices). You don't want to waste the doctor's time or yours if the doctor specializes in obstetrics, for instance, or is totally opposed to, or unfamiliar with prescribing natural hormones.

You might use this list of questions as a preliminary telephone interview before you make the appointment with a new doctor. You could preface with an explanation that you are trying to find an appropriate doctor for your health needs at this time in your life. You might not have the opportunity to talk with the doctor, but a receptionist or nurse oftentimes knows enough about the doctor to answer many of the questions.

OR-- You may choose to make an appointment to confer with the doctor in person, using these questions when you meet. Some people like to choose their doctor based on the doctor's demeanor or attitude when meeting them face to face.

OR-- You may choose a telephone consult, if the doctor includes this format in their practice.

Questions to pose to the doctor:

1. Do you treat and counsel a significant number of women over age 40?

2. How many years have you been in practice?

3. How recent is your training in women's reproductive health?

4. How would you explain the following terms to a patient: perimenopause, menopause, post menopause?

5. What forms of estrogen do you prescribe for HRT for postmenopausal women? (Check all that apply)

  Premarin   Estring, estradiol vaginal ring
  Prempro   Generic estradiol (tablets, sublinguals, skin cream or gel
  PremPhase   Tri-Est or Bi-Est formulations
  Estrace    Estradiol Patches, Climara,Vivelle, Estraderm, etc.
  Estriol   Vaginal creams, (Estrace, Premarin,Ogen, estradiol, estriol 
  Estratab or Estratest   Combi Patch (estradiol and the progestin norethindrone)
  Ogen   Other

6. Which of the above list of estrogens do you consider "natural hormones"?

7. Do you prescribe natural progesterone in any form for menopausal patients? (in micronized oil capsules, suppositories, skin cream, sublingual tablets, Crinone vaginal gel), or Prometrium.
If yes, please specify.

8. Have you ever prescribed testosterone for menopausal patients?
If yes, please specify.

9. Do you periodically monitor the hormone levels of your patients on HRT through blood or saliva tests?

10. How would you treat a perimenopausal woman suffering from irregular periods and heavy bleeding problems?

11. Do you recommend that women over 40 should be screened, as a baseline for low bone density and the risk of osteoporosis?

12. Do you provide counseling on nutrition, exercise, stress control and other lifestyle issues? How recent is your training in diet and nutrition?

13. Do you ever recommend vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal remedies, and other kinds of nutritional supplements to your patients?

14. Do you do telephone consultations?

15. Will you be offended if I bring reading material for you to consider? Will you read it if I provide it to you before our visit?

16. Will you take the time to discuss various issues with me if I send you my questions/concerns?

 

 

 

 

 

In taking charge of your health, it's up to you to inform yourself and put that information to work for YOU. Some of these questions, or others unique to your situation, should help you choose the doctor with whom you would like to establish a partnership for health.
Good luck!

 

 

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Updated 09/29/2010