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  4. Symptoms of menopause
  5. Visiting the doctor

Living well with menopauseVisiting the doctor

Before your visit

Write out notes in preparation for a medical interview

Most hospitals and clinics will ask first-time patients to fill out a medical interview sheet. This sheet includes questions about current symptoms, menstruation, past illnesses, and current medications.
It is a good idea to write out notes before your doctor's appointment to make sure that you fill out the medical interview sheet accurately and that you are prepared to answer the doctor's questions.

  1. 1About menstruation
    • Date of last period: from (month/day) lasting (#) days
    • Menstrual cycle: Typically a (# days) cycle
      Has become longer/shorter/irregular
    • Flow: Has increased/decreased
    • Duration: Has become shorter/longer
  2. 2Have you had any gynecological conditions?
  3. 3Are you currently being treated for any illness/diseases?
  4. 4Are you currently taking any medication?
  5. 5Family medical history
  6. 6What is currently troubling you the most?

Physical examination and tests

A typical appointment with an OB/GYN will involve an examination to determine whether your symptoms are due to menopause or caused by some other condition. The OB/GYN will ask questions and conduct an internal exam, as well as several different tests, to make a general determination as to whether your symptoms are due to menopause.

Not all of the following tests will necessarily be carried out.

  • Medical interview
    It is important to describe your symptoms to the doctor as specifically as possible. The doctor will ask questions related to your menstruation, such as when your current symptoms began. Writing this information down in advance is a good way to make sure that you can easily answer these questions.
  • Internal exam
    The doctor will check the state of your uterus, ovaries, and vagina.
  • Ultrasound
    An ultrasound produces images using ultrasonic waves to give the doctor a picture of the state of your uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes.
  • Pap smear
    A pap smear will be done to check for cervical and uterine cancer.
  • Blood test
    A blood test that checks hormone and cholesterol levels gives the doctor an idea of the physical changes that are occurring in your body.