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I am looking for a gynecology only office in Phoenix, AZ. How can I find a good gynecologist? The ob/gyn office I currently go to is primarily geared to obstetrics.

By March 20, 2010 - 11:12am
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I am 50 years old. I have not gone through menopause. I have fairly regular periods, and have no hot flashes. However, for the past year I have bleeding between my periods which is not normal for me. I also have vaginal irritation and very mild lower abdominal/pelvic cramps off and on. This varies from month to month - sometimes will bleed for a couple of days in the middle of my cycle and other months will spot for a few days here and there. I am not bleeding enough to become anemic. Since last September I have had three transvaginal/ovarian ultrasounds, several pelvic examinations, an intrauterine biopsy, blood test for hormonal levels, routine blood tests, routine colonoscopy and vaginal cultures. Everything has come back normal except colonoscopy showed moderate diverticulosis. My blood test for hormonal levels showed normal levels for a non-menopausal woman. All of my gyn visits have been to the nurse practitioner except for one visit to the gynecologist. This is because the doctor is so busy it takes 3 months to get in to see her. I am wondering if a gynecology only office would be better for me. I saw the gyn doctor in January who thought there was no problem and that no further testing was necessary. She said the only thing she could recommend for the vaginitis was hormonal cream which she would only want to prescribe if absolutely necessary due to side effects. I could not get a clear answer from her as to whether the bleeding between periods is normal for someone of my age who is nearing menopause. I am scheduled for my routine pap smear with her in June.

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Perimenopause often causes irregular bleeding in our cycles as the first real symptom of its onset. I am surprised that your doctor did not suggest that this is very likely a cause.

Here's the Mayo Clinic's page on perimenopause, with links down the left side that refer to symptoms, treatments and so on:


While it may be difficult to impossible to find a gyn office that does not also include obstetrics, it is very possible to find a specific gynecologist who specializes in matters of aging, periimenopause, menopause and so on.

The easiest way to do that is to begin investigating gynecologists' offices where there are several doctors practicing, because with more doctors they are more likely to specialize in specific things. They often have words like "Women's Center" or "Women's Wellness Center" in their names, signifying that there are multiple doctors working in multiple areas.

One resource is, of course, friends and acquaintances. Do you work in an office with women who are about your age or older? Don't hesitate to ask them. Just simply say, "I'm looking for a new gynecologist who isn't so busy delivering babies. Do you like yours?" and get the conversation started.

Your present gynecologist's office may know the name of someone who specializes in perimenopausal issues. Don't be shy about asking; just say that you know you're moving into a different stage of life now, and is there a more appropriate doctor for you to be seeing?

WebMD has a physician search function that allows you to put in your zip code and the kind of doctor you are looking for. It then will bring up a list of doctors that you can check out. Here's a directory I did for Phoenix:


I noticed that there are several offices where quite a few gynecologists work. The next step is to check out each office's web site. It's quite common for them to list all their doctors and even post pictures and specialties. Here's an example of that kind of page from one office:


This listing has some names of doctors that say they specialize in menopause:


Here's one example of a listing:


You may also be interested in the Mayo Clinic, which has a Medical Gynecology department (and a women's health concentration in their north Scottsdale location). Here's a page that explains their specialties, and there are tabs across the top of the page that go into services and doctors:


Does this help a little? Unfortunately there's no easy way to do this. I just moved to your city in the last year and have gone through the same searching you are doing now (I am 52). You are right, you should not have to wait three months to see a gynecologist as a matter of course.

March 23, 2010 - 8:55am
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