Menopause
Menopause

How to Talk to Your Gyno About Menopause

How to Talk to Your Gyno About Menopause

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, or even out of control, as menopause looms closer. Your sex hormones are on the decline and new symptoms are popping up what feels like daily, which can incite more than just physical discomfort. While you may not be able to hit pause on these big changes, you can empower yourself with the information you need to get through them. 

Here are some tips on how to talk to your gynecologist to get the most out of your appointment so you come away feeling armed with knowledge. 

Show up on time, then make the most of it

Have you noticed that doctors seem to be spending less time with their patients lately? You’re not wrong. Research the average visit with a primary care physician only lasts about 18 minutes.  Your gynecologist, a key resource for gaining coping tools during the inevitable ups and downs of menopause, may even have less time to answer your questions.

Start tracking your menopause symptoms

Once you schedule your next doctor’s appointment, start keeping a diary of how you feel each day. TBH, this is a good practice even when you’re not meeting with your doctor: Your brain might not be as sharp as usual when your hormones are all over the place, so tracking your moods and symptoms can help you notice patterns you otherwise wouldn’t. Your healthcare provider can help you grasp what’s normal, what isn’t, and how to get the bothersome  manifestations of menopause under control. 

Write down your habits and routines, too

Your symptoms aren’t the only thing you should be writing down. It’s also a good idea to track other habits, like diet, sleep, sex, alcohol use, and exercise. Don’t forget to write down the names of your medications and supplements, or better yet, bring them along. Having all this context, you and your provider can then make connections between your routines and your (peri)menopause symptoms — and, hopefully, find simple ways to get you feeling better ASAP. 

Make a list of questions you want to ask

If you’re feeling rushed (or fatigued, or anxious, or hot) during an appointment, you might not remember to ask about your dry vagina or brain fog. Take the time before you see your doctor to write down all the questions you have about your peri/menopause experience. If you don’t know  where to start, here are a few ideas to jog your brain:

Are my symptoms normal, or could something else be causing them? 

What can I do at home to treat my symptoms? 

What treatments or medications are available if my symptoms don’t go away or get worse? 

What side effects or risks should I be aware of if I need treatment for my symptoms? 

What other screenings or tests unrelated to menopause might I need? 

Whether you whip out your smartphone or bring along a pen and a notebook, don’t forget to take detailed notes during your conversation. Your doc should give you a printout summary of your appointment (or post it online in your clinic’s portal), but it’s a good idea to write down any suggestions or advice you glean.

Knowledge is power, after all!

Remind yourself vulnerability is good — and so is asking for what you need 

It can be intimidating to talk about these issues with a medical provider, but that’s what you’re there for. Even though it can be tough to talk about your menopause, know that nothing’s off the table with your medical provider. Sure, you may not be thrilled to list all the areas you’re sweating (or drying out), but remember: Nothing you share should come as a surprise to your gyno.

The more you open up about your symptoms and the trouble they’re causing, the better your provider can help you troubleshoot. (Sidenote: If any clinician makes you feel dismissed or rolls their eyes at your questions, it’s probably time to find a new one.)
It’s also important to ask for what you need — even before your gynecologist  recommends it. Doing so will help you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat during the twists and turns of menopause.

Stripes is your safe haven.

Let’s change the conversation around the change.

Stripes is your safe haven.

Let’s change the conversation around the change.
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SUSTAINABILITY

In partnership with the biotech company Amyris, Stripes created a line of holistic, science-backed solutions that promote overall wellness for people experiencing menopause. Our active ingredients are sustainably sourced, and created to be good to both you and our planet. 

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INCLUSIVITY

Menopause affects each of us differently, which is why we designed Stripes to be inclusive of all people who experience it. When we make space for each of our unique journeys and needs, we create a collective wisdom that strengthens, empowers, and unites us all.

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HEALTHY AGING

Menopause affects each of us differently, which is why we designed Stripes to be inclusive of all people who experience it. When we make space for each of our unique journeys and needs, we create a collective wisdom that strengthens, empowers, and unites us all.