Many women in Perimenopause report suboptimal experiences with their GP on addressing and treating their Perimenopausal symptoms.
But why are women falling through the gaps in medical care in Australia?
Let's look at why doctor's are failing women in Perimenopause, and what we can do about it.
Lack of Training in Menopause Management:
Not all medical professionals receive extensive training in managing menopausal symptoms, and this can lead to suboptimal care for women going through this transition. Medical education involves a vast amount of information to be learned in a relatively short period of time, and menopause is one topic amongst many in women's health.
On top of that, Menopause is not a disease, it is a natural stage in a woman's life and its symptoms can vary from woman to woman. These symptoms can overlap with other conditions, making menopause treatment a very complex area to master.
Misdiagnosis or Dismissal of Symptoms:
Because menopause can cause a wide variety of symptoms, some of which are similar to those of other medical conditions, it's possible for symptoms to be misdiagnosed or dismissed as unrelated to hormonal changes. For example, some thyroid disorder symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, depression and changes in the menstrual cycle can be associated with both menopause and thyroid disorders.
Depression and anxiety disorders, mood swings and irritability can be both symptoms of menopause, and common mental health disorders.
Because these symptoms can be indicative of a variety of conditions, it's essential to have a comprehensive evaluation by a specified Menopause Doctor if you're experiencing these issues.
Doctors Have Limited Time with Patients:
Healthcare provider in Australia often have limited time to spend with each patient, which can make it difficult to fully discuss and address the wide range of potential menopausal symptoms. With a high demand for healthcare services and not enough doctors to meet tis demand, the high patient load means doctors see a large number of patients each day, but leave less time for each individual appointment.
Stigma and Societal Attitudes Towards Menopause:
Societal stigmas around aging and menopause can result in a lack of open dialogue about these natural processes. This can sometimes lead to feelings of dismissal or invalidation when women seek help for their symptoms.
Menopause has been stigmatized and is sometimes not seen as a serious health concern by healthcare professionals.
Limited Treatment Options for Menopause:
While hormone replacement therapy can be an effective treatment for many women, it's not suitable for everyone. The development of additional, safe, and effective treatment options is needed.
Historical Male Bias in Medicine:
Historically, medical research has been largely focused on men, which has led to gaps in our understanding of women's health issues, including menopause. Up until the 1990's, many women were excluded from clinical trials because of potential harm to their reproductive health. This then led to a significant gap in understanding how treatments affected women differently from men.
On top of that, as men are typically overrepresented in the medical profession as figures of authority, these men typically focus on their own areas of interest, which is rarely in women's health.
Efforts are being made to correct these historical biases. Regulations now require the inclusion of women in clinical trials, and there is increasing focus on understanding sex and gender differences in disease. Moreover, more women are entering the medical profession and leading medical research, which could help bring a more balanced perspective to the field.
How to Find a Menopause Doctor in Australia
Finding a Doctor who specialises in women's health including menopause is the best way to get appropriate treatment for the symptoms of menopause. Luckily, we have collated a substantial list of Menopause Doctors in Australia.
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Peree provides a rich source of knowledge on the topic of Menopause