Find a Physician

It’s important to find a doctor who understands menopause. This is less obvious than it seems, as many medical schools consider menopause coursework elective. As a result, 80% of OB-GYN residents say they feel uncomfortable discussing menopause. Given that most women will live 30 years beyond menopause, you deserve a doctor who can provide optimal care before, during, and after this transition.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) established a set of standards for healthcare providers to ensure quality care for women throughout menopause. NAMS practitioners take specific coursework and must pass a competency exam to be a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP).

illustration of female healthcare provider

To find a NAMS certified healthcare practitioner in your area, click below.

Tips for Getting the Perimenopause and Menopause Care You Need

Look for a Menopause-Informed Provider(s). The Menopause Society (formerly NAMS) certifies practitioners so they get additional training. 

You may have a good relationship with your GYN and maybe even a longer one with your primary care doctor. But if neither is knowledgeable about menopause—knowing the symptoms and stages, as well as being up to date on treatment options—then it may be time to move on to providers that specialize in menopause.  

It may make sense to go to a GYN who does not do OB (although not always). Menopause affects many parts of the body, so it’s not just your gynecologist who needs to be up to date on menopause. 

Manage Your Expectations

You may have to schedule multiple appointments with your doctor. A preventative well-visit with your gynecologist or internist requires them to do certain procedures and to ask certain questions. There might not be the time to discuss all of your menopausal symptoms during one appointment. 

Therefore, it may be important to book a non-preventive visit and/or to have a follow-up visit.

Prepare in Advance for Your Appointment

Learn as much as you can about menopause from trusted, reliable sources, including: 

Let’s Talk Menopause

North American Medical Society (NAMS)

Society For Women's Health Research

International Menopause Society 

Track and Order Your Symptoms 

Track your symptoms for a few weeks prior to your visit utilizing the LTM symptoms tracker LTM Symptoms Tracker-English  LTM Symptoms Trac ker-Spanish, or the Menopause Rating Scale: Menopause Rating Scale (MRS)

Order those symptoms according to which are worrying you the most or having the greatest adverse impact on your health and life. 

Write Down Your Questions in Advance 

Write down your questions before your appointment. 

Make sure to start with those questions related to what is worrying/bothering you the most. For example, talk about your worsening mood and whether your doctor believes you need to see a mental health specialist; ask about hormone therapy for your hot flashes, etc.

Be Aware of Potential Red Flags
  • Your medical practitioner dismisses your symptoms and concerns or suggests “they’re all in your head.”
  • Compounding pharmacies (Not all of them are problematic, but the consistency of ingredients/dosing are common problems) It is generally better to use FDA-regulated, commercially available options.)
  • Hormone testing during perimenopause (According to The Menopause Society and many menopause healthcare providers, hormone testing generally has little diagnostic utility during perimenopause given the degree of hormonal fluctuations.) Specific hormone tests, however, may be necessary if there are fertility issues or a woman stops menstruating at an early age. 
  • Selling you an expensive product. It never can hurt to ask or explore yourself whether it is backed by any research, and if so, what the data shows. This will help you make an informed decision, as well as manage your expectations.
Disclaimer of Medical Liability. LET’S TALK MENOPAUSE, INC. DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice because of something you have read on this website.

Fill out our symptoms checklist!

Please answer the questions to complete the symptoms checklist. While not a diagnostic tool, it is a printable resource to share with your povider to have an informed discussion about perimenopause.

illustration of symptoms checklist