Trying to understand what menopause care is right for you can be challenging. There are so many clinics out there and so many different types of hormones that can be prescribed. At Kent Family Medical, our experienced team want to help you make the right decisions for you – based on your individual preferences, family and medical history.
What sort of appointment should I book?
If you feel that you are peri-menopausal and want to discuss your options, we will be more than happy to talk things through, possibly recommend some blood tests and an individualised treatment plan (that may or may not involve hormones). If you are in the menopause but haven’t tried any treatment yet or are already on HRT but feel it needs review, we can discuss options and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Any of these issues just require a normal GP appointment that you can book via our website appointments booking page.
You can also book with Kent Family Medical’s dietitian if you wish to discuss nutrition at the time of the menopause.
So when should I consider booking your peri-menopause and menopause package?
These packages provide peri-menopause and menopause advice, comprehensive health screening and blood tests included in the price. They offer a full menopause consultation, a full cohort of blood tests to check your overall health, an ECG and cardiovascular risk assessment, a bone health assessment and osteoporosis risk calculation, a mental health review and breast examination (if you wish). Other options can be added, such as cervical screening. They also include a follow up appointment for the results and a discussion about treatment options. Have a look at the link below to see if you feel that this would be more suited to your needs:
I’m still unsure as to what to book? Where should I start?
If you are still unsure then it is best to start with a normal GP appointment. We can talk through what would be best for your individual needs and, if it looks like it would be more cost-effective to upgrade to a menopause package, this can easily be arranged.
Do I always need blood tests?
No, not necessarily. The British Menopause Society recommends that, in women who are 45 years old and over, we can diagnose menopause based on symptoms. You do not need a blood test to see where you are in the menopause. We check a blood test called FSH to diagnose menopause in women under 45 (or over 45 if you wish!). This is the hormone that your brain produces to kickstart your ovaries into producing follicles that make oestrogen. Once you hit the menopause, there will be fewer and fewer ovarian follicles produced, which means less oestrogen production. Oestrogen normally tells your brain that it does not need to produce any more FSH. As your oestrogen levels drop in the menopause, there is nothing to tell your brain to stop producing FSH. Therefore, in the menopause, your FSH will be high. This stays high throughout the menopause and therefore measuring the levels regularly will not tell us where you are in the menopause or how your treatment is progressing.
Some clinics offer bio-identical HRT and check hormone levels such as oestrogen and progesterone to guide your individualised medication dose. These blood tests need to be interpreted carefully as your hormone levels will still fluctuate throughout the month. At Kent Family Medical, we offer body-identical HRT which does not require such targeted monitoring. Body-identical HRT is recommended by the British Menopause Society. If you did want to access bio-identical HRT we can discuss the pros and cons and guide you to reputable clinics that offer this if you wish.
Do I need to see a menopause specialist?
Our team is very experienced in managing menopause and has done so in the NHS and private sector for many years. We are GP-led and have helped many women with their menopause over the years. We also have additional training in menopause care. If your personal history suggests that you need to see a specialist (gynaecology or genetics consultant), we can arrange this. For example, if you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
If I start my care with you, can this be carried on with my NHS GP?
Absolutely. Some patients like to be seen in the private sector initially to have the space and time to discuss all of their concerns and develop a treatment plan that is right for them. After this, some patients will chose to continue their care with Kent Family Medical but others may wish to have their care transferred back to the NHS (or even a bit of both!). The choice is yours and we will work with you to make sure that your NHS GP is fully informed of all aspects of your menopause care.