GP Visit for the Menopause – Get Organised!
We’ve all been there…
Walked into a room to do or say something – but completely forgotten what it was.
With the menopause riding pillion on this part of your journey through life, it’s highly likely that you’ll notice this happens more frequently.
However, if it coincides with a trip to see your doctor – it could also have consequences.
Since such memory blips became a part of my life, I’ve become a lover of lists. I write EVERYTHING down. And I’d suggest that this is indeed the way forward if you’re planning to see your GP about symptoms you’re experiencing, even if you are not sure it has anything to do with the menopause creeping up on you – think about missed periods, sleeping badly, waking up tired, hot flushes etc. and even feeling one degree under (hangover like symptoms).
Here are my tips and tricks to help make sure you a) remember what you went for and b) are coherent enough to vocalise your worries. Remember – there’s no such thing as a silly question!
- Make that list of questions and make sure you ask them, ALL of them. Then tick them off!
- Takes notes about the answers so you remember what’s been said.
- Don’t expect your GP to know all the answers – if they seem to be struggling ask to be referred to a medical menopause specialist.
- Ask about lifestyle changes you could make, like nutrition and exercise, to reduce symptoms.
Things I wish I’d known at the time
A blood test is unlikely to help with diagnosis, they usually come back negative and your doctor should know from your medical records what could be wrong with you.
If you’ve a history of feeling depressed or melancholy, particularly after childbirth, you may have a tendency towards hormonal depression and shouldn’t be prescribed anti-depressants.
If your doctor suggests a course of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and you’re concerned, talk it through and make notes of what was discussed so you can make an informed decision later.
I almost went down the mind-numbing drug route myself because it seemed like an easy answer at the time that would give me peace and take away the responsibility of having to make decisions. Luckily, I resisted. I’m so glad I did.
Lastly, don’t leave that GP visit to chance – the menopause is enough of a gamble in life as it is!
Good luck and don’t forget we’re here to help.