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Menopause and the Monthly Visit

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Trying to find something enjoyable about seeing the doctor each month is almost impossible, unless you happen to have a VERY attractive doctor! Even then, it's a reminder that we used to GET a monthly "visitor" and now we ARE a monthly visitor!

Things are a bit different now than when we used to go for our checkups. There are a LOT more things to check! And they're not always up either! It seems to take longer to get undressed (are those paper gowns getting smaller, or what???), longer to explain our problems to the doctor and for some of us, it's much harder to even get up on the examining table!

One improvement that comes with age is being able to communicate with your doctor. We are much more likely to require that the doctor spend more time answering our questions and thoroughly explain any diagnosis or treatment plan. Of course, asking for more time doesn't always mean we will GET more time. Because of HMO's and other changes within the health industry, doctors are being stretched to see more patients so I've come up with a list of things that will help both you and your doctor on your next visit:

1. When you make your next appointment, let them know that you would like to have a little extra time to discuss some issues with your doctor. They can arrange the schedule a lot easier when they know ahead of time.

2. Make a list of questions you would like to cover with the doctor. (It's best to start this list a week or so before your appointment....not an hour before). Include questions that will give you some idea of your doctor's point of view on certain issues. You may find that his/her viewpoint is not compatible with yours.

3. Also have a list of any changes you've noticed since your last visit. This should be a fairly detailed explanation so the doctor can determine the extent of your problems. Complaining about having hot flashes in general is not the same as saying how often you have them, how long they last and what your diet consists of.

Be prepared to make the decision to find a new doctor if you come away from your appointment with an unsatisfied feeling.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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