Many women accept menopause as a fact of life that they are unable to do anything about, which is simply not the truth. Management of symptoms and potential health complications have become more available than ever before!
Keep reading to learn more about menopause, whether a specialist is really necessary for you, and the top five tips for finding the best menopause doctor in McLean, Virginia!
What Is Menopause? At What Age Does It Occur?
Menopause is a naturally occurring point in time where a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without experiencing menstruation. It is a normal part of aging that marks the end of your reproductive years due to a decline in necessary hormones.
The average age for this process is estimated to be 51 years old. The transition to menopause, called perimenopause, typically begins in your mid-40s. Everyone’s journey is different however, and you may be older or younger when these transitions occur.
Menopause symptoms can vary greatly among women, and you may experience one of the following symptoms, though you may experience all of them or a combination of several:
- Changes in libido
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Emotional changes like mood swings and irritability
- Hair loss or thinning
- Hot flashes
- Irregular periods
- Memory lapses
- Pain during intercourse
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
What Is a Menopause Doctor? What Do They Do?
A menopause doctor is exactly what it sounds like – a medical practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of menopause and its symptoms. They are equipped with knowledge that a lot of doctors are not when it comes to menopause, as well as the stages before and after it.
Is a Menopause Specialist Really Necessary?
While menopause itself is not something that needs to be treated, delayed, or cured, the symptoms can make life more difficult and pose adverse health effects. Long-term health complications associated with menopause include osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease.
Many women go through menopause without any sort of medical intervention or assistance, but this is largely attributed to the hesitance around seeking care and doesn’t mean it’s not needed. It’s estimated that only one in five gynecologists are trained in menopause management, which limits your options for care.
Despite this, you should still seek menopause-related care, especially if your symptoms are negatively impacting your life and making it difficult to stay healthy.
How Do I Find the Right Menopause Doctor for Me? Follow These Five Tips!
If you’re ready to begin your journey into menopause management but you’re not sure where to start or you’re still feeling hesitant, use these five tips to help you during your search. Remember that it’s always worth it to take care of yourself and honor your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
- Ask for a referral from your primary care provider.
Just because your primary healthcare professional isn’t entirely familiar with this subject doesn’t mean they don’t know another practitioner who is. If you’re able to, ask your current gynecologist or another doctor for a referral to someone who specializes in menopause.
- Seek a provider who specializes in menopause.
On that note, keep your search relatively strict. Many people can claim to specialize in menopause, but that doesn’t mean they do, or that they’re even a healthcare provider in the first place.
The best way to ensure that you’re choosing a provider who is medically licensed and actually has continuing education in menopause is to interview them to verify their credentials and see if they have undergone training related to the subject. Make sure to prepare a list of menopause questions beforehand!
- Be aware of red flags.
Symptoms and menopause in general are often brushed off and not taken seriously. This unfortunate reality makes it harder to receive care but prepares you for red flags in a doctor during your search.
If a provider dismisses your symptoms or struggles, no matter what they are, they should be avoided. Similarly, if they do not provide proven treatments and management techniques, and are instead selling you on an expensive, questionable product or service, consider visiting someone else.
The best menopause doctor in McLean, Virginia is someone who is attentive and compassionate. THey should offer therapies, procedures, and lifestyle techniques that are backed by research. Their team should be equally as kind and inviting.
- See what other people are saying.
No matter how you found a doctor or what their website says, set aside some time to see what previous patients are saying. Reviews from a legitimate website will clue you in on what you can expect, if the experience will be an overall positive one, and similar details.
Check for any claims about their practice, especially if they have medical malpractices.
- Schedule a visit and explore your options.
Have you found a specialist that checks off all the right boxes? Congratulations!
It’s time to take that next step to a better, healthier you and book an appointment. This initial visit allows you to gather a lot of helpful information and to explore treatments and management techniques.
Meet the Best Menopause Doctor in McLean, Virginia Today at Annandale Ob-Gyn!
Meet our team of specialists at Annandale Ob-Gyn, proudly serving multiple locations including McLean! We provide multiple services to help you take control of your health during every step of your menopause journey.
Call us at 703-642-7522 to schedule an appointment with us and explore your options for exceptional care!