Menopause: Questions for the doctor

Menopause: Questions for the doctor

Menopause is when women stop getting their period. Some people call it “the change.” Menopause is different for each woman, but most women naturally reach menopause around age 50.

As you get closer to menopause, your ovaries make less and less of female hormones called estrogen (“ES-tra-jin”) and progesterone (“pro-JES-ter-own”). Eventually, your ovaries stop making these hormones completely.

It can take 2 to 8 years to go through menopause. Menopause is finished when you haven’t had a period in 12 months. Once you’ve finished menopause, you won’t be able to get pregnant.

Symptoms of menopause can include:

  • Irregular bleeding (more or less often than usual)
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • More or less interest in sex
  • Vaginal dryness

The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to help with these symptoms. Start by talking with your doctor.

What do I ask the doctor?

Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down ahead of time. Print this list of questions and take it with you to your next appointment.

  • How do I know if I’m going through menopause?
  • How do I know if the changes in my period are from menopause or a sign of a problem?
  • What other changes can I expect?
  • Is there something I can do to control hot flashes?
  • Are there changes I can make to my diet and physical activity to stay healthy during menopause?
  • What is hormone therapy, and is it a good idea for me?
  • Are there alternative therapies, like herbal supplements, that might help my symptoms?
  • What other steps can I take to help my symptoms?
  • When can I stop using birth control?
  • What can I do to stay healthy as I get older?