Why should you book an appointment with me to learn about menopause?
For several reasons. Let me give you a few:
- Fact, not fiction: There’s so much misinformation, so many false claims and marketing pitches disguised as fact in the media that you need someone with scientific knowledge to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been working in healthcare for more than 20 years and have a lot of experience in patient-centred care, therapy management, and disease prevention. I am a certified menopause practitioner and offer evidence-based advice. I’m not trying to sell you anything, I’m not sponsored by any pharma companies, and I became a menopause expert because I want to help women who are struggling through menopause. Most women do not know what to expect from menopause. I advise you to start getting educated early, because the time leading up to menopause (called perimenopause) when your hormones are all over the place, may start around 40, and can be very challenging.
- My personal experience: You probably want advice from someone who knows what you’re going through, who listens, understands, and sympathises. I do! I’ve been through it all myself. I still remember the day, when I was in perimenopause, that my son asked me if I was bipolar because my mood swings were so intense. It’s not easy to live in a body and mind that are going through such big changes that one doesn’t recognize oneself anymore. I can help you from my personal experience, education, training and knowledge.
- A sympathetic ear: You could read and learn a lot about menopause on your own. Probably, if you know how to find reputable, accurate resources, but having another woman listening to your problems and struggles and helping you to navigate the change feels a lot better and is more effective.
- It’s my specialty: Your doctor doesn’t have time to listen to your complaints about decreased sex drive, pain with sex, crying spells, etc. if these topics even come up during your doctor’s appointment, much less to figure out how to mitigate those symptoms and improve your quality of life and your intimate relationship. I have the time because this is what I specialize in!
- Expert advice: You don’t want to take hormones so why bother talking to a pharmacist. I know about drugs, better than most doctors do, but I’m not going to “push them on you”. What I’m going to do is give you information about treatment options that are available (drugs and non-drug options), tell you which ones are right for you and which ones aren’t safe or recommended for you, and armed with that knowledge YOU decide what option, what therapy, is best for YOU. This is a very individualized process, there’s nothing cookie cutter about therapy for menopause. We are all different and what’s best for your friend or neighbour, or even your sister, may not be advisable or safe for you. Before I see you I need you to fill out a questionnaire that I developed to help me gather relevant information about you, your health, and your personal and familial history, in order to individualize my recommendations. When we sit together during a consultation I’ve already done the homework so that we can spend our time together on your needs and questions—supporting, caring, and helping you.
During a consultation (face-to-face or online) I’ll:
- Listen and address your concerns,
- Identify symptoms related to hormonal changes,
- Individualize the discussion based on your personal and familial health history, your preferences and values,
- Counsel you on available treatments, pharmacological and non-pharmacological, and their benefits and risks,
- Discuss behavioural and lifestyle modifications to improve your symptoms and your health and quality of life during menopause and beyond,
- Inform you of the health risks associated with menopause and aging,
- Focus on health promotion and disease prevention,
- Provide encouragement and support to help you navigate the change,
- Formulate a Care Plan with assessment, interventions, recommendations, actions, goals, monitoring, and follow up.
If you wish to follow up with your family physician and/or inform him/her of the assessment and Care Plan that we developed, I can fax him/her a copy of your Care Plan. This is especially important if you decide to take prescription medication which I cannot prescribe to you, according to the Ontario Pharmacist Scope of Practice. Your physician will be aware of the Care Plan and will surely be happy that we saved him/her a lot of time gathering the relevant information.