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Quick Guide: Essential Perimenopause & Menopause Resources

Accessing affordable menopause support in the US can be challenging due to the high cost of healthcare, so many women turn to the internet for guidance.  However, this can lead to uncertainty about the accuracy and safety of the information found online.
 
This article hopes to point you in the right direction! From links to great non-profit organizations focused on menopause and menopause-certified healthcare providers, all the way to a downloadable symptoms checklist to take with you on your doctor visit.

Useful Menopause Websites

Let’s Talk Menopause
A great place to start, Let’s Talk Menopause is a national non-profit organization offering easily digestible information. Their mission is to change the conversation around menopause so that women not only get the information they need, but also the healthcare they deserve. On their website you will find useful “Ask The Expert” articles and links to interesting podcasts, great tips, and a link to finding a menopause-certified medical provider who has undergone NAMS (North American Menopause Society) Certification in your area. In addition, they have a symptoms checklist. While not a diagnostic tool, it is both printable and easy to fill out.  Share this with your healthcare provider so you can have an informed discussion about perimenopause.

North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
Now known as the Menopause Society. A very useful resource, but not as easy to navigate compared to Let’s Talk Menopause. They provide well-researched articles and information, and a great video series. An especially good video to watch is called Preparing for Your Menopause Healthcare Visit. You’ll also find useful articles on topics such as symptoms and treatments, how to stay healthy in midlife, and answers to frequently asked questions. NAMS has also published one of the most highly recommended books on menopause called The Menopause Guide Book (see below for more details). To help you find a healthcare professional that is both knowledgeable about menopause and up-to-date on training, the Society provides a database of certified menopause practitioners. These healthcare professionals have undergone menopause training and demonstrated their expertise in the field before being awarded accreditation. This accreditation is called NCMP or NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner and is valid for 3 years.

Useful Menopause Books

While there is an array of books on menopause, pinpointing the perfect one for you can prove challenging. Some may lack readability, while others may not have the preferred tone. Nevertheless, the following offer a good starting point:

The Menopause Guide Book (9th Edition)
by the North American Society of Menopause
One of the books most frequently recommended by experts is now in it’s ninth edition. Published by The North American Menopause Society, a nonprofit scientific organization, this comprehensive guidebook provides current and unbiased information on a broad range of topics about menopause and its management.  Highly regarded, the Society uses experts to write and vet the content and verify that the advice is current, factual, and follows best practices.

The Complete Guide to the Menopause: Your Toolkit to Take Control and Achieve Lifelong Health 
by Dr Annice Mukherjee
Written by a top UK hormone specialist who went through menopause at just 41 following a breast cancer diagnosis. This easy-to-read book combines her medical expertise and personal experience, and provides a toolkit for dealing with various aspects of perimenopause such as how to manage it in the workplace. Dr Mukherjee also includes science-based advice on treatment options when self-management is not enough. She helps to demystify some of the big questions such as what happens after menopause, what happens if you have medically induced menopause, and when to consider hormone therapies (HRT) and alternatives to HRT.

What Fresh Hell is This?: Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You
by Heather Corinna
An irreverent guide written by Heather Corinna, an award-winning sexual-health and education advocate.  The research is considerable, and although not a healthcare professional, Corinna gets this complicated health topic. This book is not for everyone, with freely dropped expletives, but it is informative, funny, and somewhat snarky. It draws attention to predatory practices and the red flags for scams. It busts myths and offers straightforward descriptions of our bodies and minds at this time of hormonal chaos. It also includes self-care tips and practical clear information for all, including groups that have previously been left out of the discussion such as those with disabilities, and gender-diverse people. This book is for someone who wants to explore perimenopause as though they were sitting down with a direct, unfiltered, say-what-they-mean type of friend.

The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Own Heath with Facts and Feminism
by Dr Jen Gunter
Advocate for women’s health and best-selling author Dr Jen Gunter has written a readable, frank, and funny book with a comprehensive view of all things menopause. She hopes to bring you empowerment through knowledge by debunking stubborn myths, misunderstandings, and misogynist attitudes. She steers clear of pseudoscience and unproven treatments.  This is not a dry, tame, scientific review but rather a feminist manifesto. She is angry about the invisibility of menopause and aging women in culture and medicine. Along with expert advice, this book offers a fascinating in-depth historical perspective of menopause and is filled with practical and reassuring information.  The tone might not be to everyone’s liking, but it does challenge us to reflect on and appreciate the experience of aging as a woman in 21st Century America.

TAKEAWAY

It's important that we educate ourselves about this new phase in our lives, but be sure to get your information from trustworthy sources.  This allows you to better advocate for yourself. It’s always a good idea to get a medical check-up to rule out any other causes of your symptoms and to seek professional medical advice before starting any treatments.

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NOTE: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. It should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.