Finding the right doctor is one of the most important decisions a woman can make as she is entering into menopause. This transition of life is one that requires a physician who will candidly discuss what it all means as well as offer all of the alternative forms of treatment. Often times, treatment of menopause results in anti-depressive medication or unnecessary hysterectomies.
Years ago, menopause was as taboo as mental illness. There was a stigma attached to women going through "the change." In his book, (published 1966), Dr. Robert A. Wilson wrote, "Many women endure the passing years with cow-like passivity and disinter; and a disturbingly high number take refuge in sleeping pills, alcohol and sometimes even in suicide...The tragedy of menopause often destroys her character as well as her health." It was that kind of attitude, from a so-called expert, that forced many women to suffer in silence, for fear of being ridiculed or labeled as crazy because of their hormonal imbalance.
But in this day and age, there is no reason women have to sit back and suffer in silence. The menopausal years are a time for us to take charge of their lives. When deciding on the right doctor, you should ask the following questions:
1) What is your health care practioner's training in menopause and in aging?
2) How knowledgeable is he or she about the menopause transition?
3) What classes on menopause and on aging have they attended or taught recently?
(You want a health care professional who's up to date on current treatments)
4) Can you talk to your doctor openly?
5) Does he or she explain things in a way you can understand?
6) Is he/she willing to consult with other professionals on alternative treatments?
7) Does your health care provider give you information to help increase your
knowledge about menopause?
8) Does he/she review the pros and cons of Estrogen Replacement Therapy and
Hormone Replacement Therapy?
9) Does he/she discuss the side-effects of synthetic drugs?
10) Is your health care provider readily available? Having to wait a month or
more may not help you.
Remember, it's your body. Keep asking questions until you get the answers you're seeking so you can make a wise decision about your healthcare.