Menopause can be tricky to navigate on your own. You can find long-term and safe solutions with the best menopause specialist in Arlington, Virginia so you don’t have to. This guide will explain what menopause is, the most common symptoms, treatment options, and how to find the help you need for optimal wellness through the next phase of your life.
Menopause Is a Transitional Time That Can Be Wonderful
The truth is, this is an important transition in your life. It’s one that can signal new beginnings and a sense of freedom for many women. Not having periods and no need for birth control can feel quite liberating!
But, it can also cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms from the decrease in hormones such as estrogen. That’s why treatment is so essential, as it improves your quality of life so you can enjoy this phase as a woman.
What Is Menopause Exactly? What Is Perimenopause I’ve Been Hearing About?
Menopause is a natural biological process that is identified specifically as the time you haven’t had a menstrual period for one year. Perimenopause is the phase that leads up to menopause, and it can last for years. The average length of time for perimenopause is four years, though it can last a decade or longer. It’s during this time that your hormones are starting to decline, causing the symptoms so often associated with menopause.
What Are the Most Common Menopause / Perimenopause Systems?
Hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings… oh my! Yes, you’re likely to experience all of these during perimenopause. Other symptoms include menstrual changes such as heavier bleeding and/or more frequent periods, weight gain, irregular periods, forgetfulness, low libido, and hair loss.
While these symptoms can make you feel a bit crazed, the truth is they are all normal and can easily be treated. Most of these symptoms are reduced or eliminated once you reach menopause, though some can continue post-menopause.
Do I Really Need a Menopause Specialist?
Would it shock you to know that most primary care providers do not know how to treat menopause? Or that not all gynecologists are the same? Both are true and why you need a menopause specialist.
A menopause specialist is a doctor, usually a gynecologist who has been educated and trained to specifically diagnose and treat the stages of menopause including post-menopause. They also have a clear understanding of health conditions that can occur as you age, such as certain cancers and osteoporosis.
The best menopause specialist in Arlington, Virginia is one who has sought education beyond textbook learning in medical school. It is someone who has obtained the special certifications and knowledge needed to truly help you.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
You will first need an exam and bloodwork before receiving a treatment plan. Your menopause specialist will need to know details about your health. Once the necessary information has been gathered, you’ll be happy to know you do have treatment options.
Hormone therapy (HRT), vaginal estrogen, low-dose antidepressants, gabapentin, and clonidine are used to help address various menopause symptoms. You might feel better with just one option, or it might take a combination.
Treating menopause is a trial-and-error process. It can take a while to find what works best for you. Don’t worry though. As long as you follow the advice from your menopause specialist and stick with the plan, you’ll start to feel like yourself again!
Here’s How to Find a Menopause Specialist
Start by organizing your search. Many women keep a notebook to write down information such as names, contact info, symptoms, and questions.
Before you get deep into your search, consider the characteristics that matter most to you. Empathy, intelligence, open-mindedness, commitment to excellence, trust, honesty, and good communication are the traits that are important.
Ask for a list of in-network menopause specialists from your insurance carriers, your primary care provider, and people you trust.
Once you’ve gathered a list of names, start looking into backgrounds. Pay attention to their education, special training, continued education, participation in research studies, credentials, and approach to medicine.
Many people head straight to the internet to read reviews. This is an excellent way to help you find a great provider. Also, look at social media pages to see what people are saying about each provider.
How Do I Prepare for My First Appointment With a Menopause Specialist?
Your first visit to a menopause specialist will likely be your longest one. It’s a time for information gathering, which can take a while. You can get the most from your visit if you take the time to prepare.
- Bring a list of your symptoms, as well as any questions you have.
- Download, print, and fill out new patient forms at home if you’re able to. If not, ask if they can be mailed to you. It is so much easier to complete these sometimes lengthy forms at home than it is in a waiting room.
- Relax! Arrive clean and comfortable, and try not to stress too much about the visit.
- Follow any pre-visit instructions given to you by the provider’s office. If you are having bloodwork or other tests, you’ll be told ahead of time how to prepare for those. Not following the instructions can delay treatment.
You Can End Your Search for the Best Menopause Specialist in Arlington, Virginia Today by Choosing Annandale Ob-Gyn!
Our team here at Annandale Ob-Gyn believes all women deserve the best healthcare possible through all of life’s changes. Whether you are struggling with perimenopause symptoms or have other concerns from pelvic pain to vulvodynia, we are here to help. Contact us today at 703-642-7522 to book your appointment at one of our convenient locations in and around Annandale!