10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Menopause

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Note: We recommend you print this page to use as a reference for your consultation with your doctor.

  1. Could my symptoms be due to a condition other than menopause? (Be ready with a diary of symptoms - the character, frequency, duration, intensity, triggers, etc.)
  2. What are the medications that I might consider to control my menopause symptoms? Are there lifestyle or other modifications I can make to help alleviate the symptoms?
  3. If I choose to use hormone therapy, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the various routes of administration (pill, patch, cream, vaginal, etc.)?
  4. What are the side effects of hormone therapy, and how does my individual health/family history affect my decision to take hormone therapy? What are the risks?
  5. If I choose a non-hormonal prescription medication that is not FDA-approved for menopause symptoms (such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI medication), what is the scientific evidence that it works?
  1. How do the side effects differ among the various non-hormonal prescription medications commonly used for menopause symptoms?
  2. Given that long-term safety is not yet established for any of the herbal or food supplement (over-the-counter) remedies, are any suggested to be effective by reliable scientific trials?
  3. What are the herbal and/or food supplement remedies that women commonly buy to treat menopause symptoms (for example, hot flashes, painful sexual intercourse), and what are the side effects of these remedies? What are the potential risks or dangers of these treatments?
  4. Which herbal or food supplements might interact with my current medications?
  5. Are there over-the-counter menopause remedies that I have to discontinue prior to undergoing any surgery or procedure?

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology


UpToDate.com. Patient information: Menopause (Beyond the Basics).

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