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 of your menopause which you may be experiencing. Make a list of the ways you are struggling and take note of anything you have already tried to help them. If you're waiting for a few weeks to see the GP - try 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. Do not be nervous or worried about bringing this up with your GP - they are there to help you. If you are nervous, learn how you want to about your menopause before doing so.
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.
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 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 for nutritionists.
- Professional Standards Authorities for Acupuncturists.
We hope this helps you to make a start on getting the support you need.