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Getting help with menopause

A quick break down of how you can get support for your menopause. If you're suffering - don't do it alone. Seek support, advice and medical treatment if necessary. There's also some tips on how to prepare for medical appointments if you want to see a doctor.

Support in the UK

If you're struggling with menopause there's a few ways you can get help.

1. Go to your NHS GP

For most people, this will be the first step in getting help for your menopausal symptoms. GP appointments are traditionally quite short, so to make the most of it:

  • Know your symptoms: There are 34 symptoms of your menopause which you may be experiencing. Make a list of the ways you're struggling, and anything you have already tried to help them. If you're waiting for a few weeks to see the GP - try tracking your symptoms across this time.
  • Track your periods: be able to tell your doctor the dates of your last 3 periods, and whether they have changed in frequency or consistency (light/heavy bleeding etc).
  • Understand your lifestyle: are you stressed? Or eating poorly? Be ready to talk to your GP about other factors which could be causing symptoms.
  • Do a bit of research to prepare. Check out some of Alva's content on diagnosis, and HRT to support you to have an informed discussion with your GP about options.

If you are having specific physical problems, your GP might refer you onto a gynaecologist for further investigation. Don't worry - this is a normal part of the care process.

2. Get help privately

Got private health insurance? Or don't want to wait for an appointment? That's completely fine - seek support from your private provider. They may also refer you onto other types of doctor for further investigation - again, this is normal. All the tips above will help you prepare for a private appointment too.

If you don't already have a private doctor but you'd like to take this route check out this list.

3. Getting mental health support

Seeing your GP for an appointment is often the first step to getting psychological support on the NHS. Again, preparing for this appointment with the tips above is helpful. There are other ways to get support for your mental health though, including:

Note, if you have private health insurance they should also be able to help you with finding mental health support.

4. Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies are not the recommended route for clinical support in the UK. But, there's no doubt that some menopausal women find that lifestyle changes have a huge impact on their quality of life. Complementary health practitioners, like nutritionists and acupuncturists, can play a part in helping women make positive lifestyle changes.

When seeking out alternative therapies there are loads of different ways to choose practitioners. Try to make sure practitioners are highly qualified, and part of professional standards organisations. These include:

  • British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine BANT for nutritionists.
  • Professional Standards Authorities for Acunpuncturists.

We hope this helps you to make a start on getting the support you need.