Written by Lusine Boyajian
Many women struggle with expressing their perimenopause symptoms with their doctor. When you’re experiencing so many new physical changes it’s difficult to pinpoint one symptom that you can talk to your doctor about in detail to have an effective conversation about perimenopause.
If you’re visiting your doctor soon, there are a few questions you should ask your doctor to help you on your menopause journey. Here are 12 perimenopause questions to ask your doctor on the first visit:
1. What are the typical signs and symptoms of perimenopause?
This ranks as the top perimenopause question to ask your doctor. The typical signs and symptoms of perimenopause include the following: irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, mood changes, vaginal dryness and discomfort, decreased libido (sex drive), changes in breast tissue (more tender/lumpy), urinary changes like frequent urination or urinary incontinence, and difficulty with concentration, memory, and focus.
2. How long does the perimenopause stage typically last?
On average, perimenopause lasts around four years, but it can range from a few months to up to ten years. The length of perimenopause is influenced by factors such as genetics, overall health, and lifestyle. It begins at different ages for different women, but it commonly starts in the late 40s or early 50s.
3. Are there any specific tests or evaluations that can confirm if I am in the perimenopause stage? If interested in the tests offered, ask about possible side effects.
Healthcare professionals can perform hormone level testing, which involves the drawing of blood to measure levels of estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). Side effects should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
4. What are the treatment options available to manage perimenopause symptoms?
Hormone therapy is a common treatment option, which involves taking medications that contain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. A healthcare professional should be consulted if this seems like a suitable option.
5. Are there lifestyle changes I can make to alleviate symptoms?
Frequent exercise, healthy eating habits (fruits and vegetables), hydration, and prioritizing sleep/rest are some of the lifestyle changes that can be made.
6. Are there any dietary considerations or supplements that may be beneficial during perimenopause?
Some dietary supplements that may be beneficial during perimenopause: Calcium, Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, Magnesium, Probiotics (can be found in foods like kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut)
7. Can hormone therapy be an option for me, and what are the potential benefits and risks?
Potential benefits: preventing bone loss and osteoporosis, relief from menopausal symptoms, protection against colorectal cancer
Potential risks: increased risk of breast cancer, increased risk of blood clots, risk of stroke, increased risk of gallbladder disease.
8. How can I manage mood swings, sleep disturbances, and other emotional symptoms associated with perimenopause?
Prioritize self-care, engage in meditation and yoga (relaxation techniques), read a book before bedtime, limit screen time, listen to calm, relaxing music.
9. Are there any potential complications or health risks associated with perimenopause?
Mood disorders, sleep disturbances, weight gain/difficulty maintaining weight, slower metabolism, and the urge to frequently urinate are some of the potential complications and health risks associated with perimenopause.
10. Can you provide recommendations for managing specific symptoms that are bothering me, such as hot flashes, irregular periods, or vaginal dryness?
For managing hot flashes: wear lightweight, breathable clothing, stay hydrated
For irregular periods and/or vaginal dryness: best to consult a healthcare provider
11. Are there any preventive measures or health screenings I should consider during this stage?
Prioritize mental health self-care, have regular pelvic exams and pap smears, perform regular breast self-exams as well as schedule regular clinical breast examinations (mammograms).
12. Can you suggest any resources or support groups that can provide additional information and emotional support during perimenopause?
Talking to a healthcare professional, therapist, or joining a perimenopause/menopause support group in your local neighborhood can help provide support during these difficult times.
Remember, your doctor is the best person to address your specific concerns and provide personalized advice based on your medical history and individual needs. Your doctor will provide you with the necessary guidance and support throughout your perimenopause journey.
Disclaimer: At It’sFetch.co we strive to provide valuable and reliable health information through our blog. We believe in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. However, it is important to understand that the content on our blog is not intended to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified medical professional.