It can be tricky to know you’re in perimenopause, even if you have many of the perimenopause symptoms. That’s why it’s critical to get a clinical diagnosis.
The first-line diagnostic tool for perimenopause is your symptoms. But medical gaslighting is real, and an appointment with your doctor might leave you feeling ignored or dismissed, or like it’s all in your mind.
I show you how to gaslight-proof conversations with your doctor so you can get an accurate diagnosis, reset your body & brain, and feel like yourself again ASAP.
Sign up for my free masterclass: Reset Your Body & Brain and Feel Like Yourself Again here!
You could have symptoms of perimenopause and not actually be in perimenopause. So how do you know if you’re in perimenopause or not? Today we’re talking about why it’s important to get a clinical diagnosis for perimenopause. Even if like me, you prefer alternative medicine. We’re also gonna talk about why your doctor might not help you and why it’s imperative you start tracking your symptoms even before you see your doctor. Hello, I’m Stephanie Holland, creator of The Body:Brain Reset. The best friends guide to perimenopause and the secret to feeling like yourself again. And in today’s episode I’m gonna show you the five steps to get an accurate perimenopause diagnosis quickly so that you can reset your body and brain again and feel like yourself again. ASAP. Now step one is to get a clinical diagnosis. So even if you are a holistic or alternative therapy person, a conscious wellness creator who hasn’t been to a doctor in ages and you would rather stick pins in your eyes than go to an allopathic doctor, here’s why you need to get a clinical diagnosis for perimenopause.
One. Receiving a clear perimenopause diagnosis means you know the underlying cause of your symptoms is hormonal fluctuations and then you can immediately implement evidence-based symptom management solutions and feel like yourself again fast. You can actually proactively choose any healthcare and wellness solution that aligns with your health and wellbeing values, but first you need to know the underlying cause of your symptoms. Number two, your doctor will perform a risk benefit assessment which includes ruling out other causes of your conditions. Now this is essential because perimenopause symptoms mimic other conditions and vice versa. For example, is it clinical depression or perimenopause depression, similar symptoms, different underlying cause and therefore a different management solution is warranted. Is it fibromyalgia or testosterone deficiency, similar symptoms, different underlying cause and therefore different management solution. Is it a thyroid issue or is it perimenopause fatigue? Similar symptoms, different underlying cause, therefore different management solution.
So factoring in your hormones and ruling out other causes of your symptoms simultaneously is the best way to know exactly what you’re dealing with so that you can tackle the exact underlying cause of your symptoms and feel like yourself again fast. This really helps you to, to helps avoid being diagnosed or just treating by yourself a condition that you don’t have and having your symptoms being mismanaged, whether it’s by your healthcare team or by you as a conscious wellness creator who loves alternative therapies. Number three. The third reason is that when you know the cause of your symptoms, you can collaborate with any health and wellness practitioner
you want. A naturopath, an acupuncturist, a homeopath, a chiropractor so that they can hit the ground running knowing your symptoms are caused by hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause. This saves so much time and endless rounds of appointments and a lot of money if you have to pay for each and every one of them because you and your wellness practitioner know exactly what you’re dealing with and can tackle the underlying cause directly, literally fast tracking you back to feeling like yourself again. So step number one is to get a clinical diagnosis for perimenopause. Without a clinical diagnosis, you’re gonna be left hacking away at your symptoms instead of dealing with the underlying cause. Princess and the Pea, need I say more <laugh>, focus on the underlying cause. Get a clinical diagnosis. I know this is so hard for us conscious wellness creators who default to alternative medicine, but trust me, knowing that your symptoms are caused by the fluctuations of perimenopause fast tracks the results of alternative therapies.
So get a clinical diagnosis, but here’s why your doctor might not help you. Menopause and perimenopause are not on the curriculum at medical school. If it is, it’s part of a larger module that lumps women’s health and reproductive health into one bucket and it’s often voluntary. Now, hopefully this situation will change as the conversation around menopause, perimenopause and hormones proliferates and and picks up momentum across social media and other media platforms. But we all know that what is really needed takes forever to work its way into public policy and become mandated in our public and private institutions. In the meantime, many doctors report having receiving zero to two hours of menopause training at medical school. According to Newson Health in the uk, only 40% of doctors in the UK have done some sort of specialist medical training in menopause and only 20% attended training that lasted two days or more.
And a study published last year showed that 52% of GPS indicated that they were not offered enough support to be able to advise and treat women with menopausal symptoms appropriately. A 2020 survey of 1500 respondents by mum’s net and Grants net found that 39% of those women who sought help from their GP for perimenopause symptoms and 20% of those who sought help from menopause symptoms say their GP told them they would just have to learn to live with it. This is appalling because life expectancy is around 83 years old for women nowadays, which means that if you start menopause in your late thirties, for example, you’d be living with the symptoms of hormone deficiency, literally living without your superpowers!, for over
40 years. Menopause-trained doctors in the US might be as low as 20%, reports vary. The jury is out on that. But a study published in 2021 by the Society for Women’s Health Research found that training in menopause in the US is not a routine part of medical school curricula or residency training. And that improved medical curriculum on menopause is needed not only for obstetricians and gynecologists, but also for the spectrum of healthcare providers who see women in their thirties, forties, midlife including across the primary care and mental health professions. So my friend, that is the state of women’s healthcare in 2023 in two of the world’s supposedly most advanced democracies. Again, this is appalling. Because of this, you need to be aware of and prepared for medical gaslighting because of lack of training and expertise in menopause and perimenopause. It’s not uncommon for women to be told things like the following: “You are too young for perimenopause.’
That’s not true. “You can’t be in perimenopause because you still have your period.” That’s not true. “It’s probably your hormones, but it doesn’t make sense to test hormone levels because they fluctuate.” End of conversation. No next steps. This is true in some cases maybe if you’re 45, but that should be the start of the conversation, not the end of it. Also, you might hear: “There’s no way to know if you’re perimenopause not true.” Your symptoms are the first line diagnostic tool for perimenopause followed by investigations relevant to you, your symptoms and your medical history. You might also hear something as bizarre as “You don’t need testosterone. Testosterone is a male hormone.” This is not true. Testosterone is a human hormone and in fact, you, woman, have three to four times more testosterone in your reproductive years than estrogen. Testosterone plays a crucial critical role in cognitive function, mood, energy, memory and libido.
It is not a male hormone, it’s a human hormone and definitely a female hormone! And the list of these most common responses and statements goes on. None are the final word and you should not accept any as the final word of the conversation. If you hear this, any of these statements, your doctor doesn’t have menopause training. That’s it, that’s all. It doesn’t mean you’re going crazy, it doesn’t mean your symptoms are in your head. Listen, they don’t have menopause training and this is bizarre because a hundred percent of women go through menopause. That’s almost 52% of humanity for which there isn’t an adequately prepared healthcare system. I know, the mind boggles <laugh> in my course, The Body:Brain Reset. I teach you how to navigate perimenopause diagnosis and the healthcare system so that you can quickly and strategically prepare for your healthcare appointment.
And I’ve included scripts that help you have gaslight proof conversations with your doctor no matter what they say so that you can come out of your appointment with very clear next steps. I also teach you how to find a menopause specialist in any country, and how to form a health and wellbeing team in alignment with your personal health and wellbeing values. Now The:Body Brain Reset isn’t available just yet, but it will be in two weeks time and you can get on the waiting list stephanieholland.co. So The Body:Brain Reset is the best friend’s guide to perimenopause and the secret to feeling like yourself again, you can get on the wait list over stephanieholland.co. Okay, so just to recap, menopause can happen at any age and so can perimenopause, but many doctors don’t seem to know that yet. On average, yes, it happens between the ages of 45 to 55.
That is still earlier than a lot of doctors, may be still thinking, but for 3% of women it happens under 40 and one in a thousand women will go through menopause under 30. It can happen naturally or as a result of surgery and medical treatments that affect the ovaries. And we know symptoms can start 15 years before. That’s the perimenopause runway leading up to menopause. So conclusion, menopause can start at any age. Perimenopause can start at any age. It’s not in your head. Your symptoms are real. And 1.2 billion women worldwide are experiencing a collection of these symptoms right now. So you are not alone. You are in good company. So click to watch my video that goes more into detail about what perimenopause is if you haven’t seen that already. All right. In conclusion, medical gaslighting is real. Women’s symptoms are routinely dismissed by physicians. They are deemed as exaggerated or in their heads, particularly in the area of hormones, perimenopause, and anything to do with menopause.
Doctors aren’t bad people. There’s just a knowledge gap and that knowledge gap is closing, but not fast enough for people, for women who are in perimenopause right now. Why? Because women are still excluded from and underrepresented in medical research studies. Only 4% of medical investment is invested in women’s health and insufficient education on biological differences has compounded pre-existing gender biases and sexism. So these three factors can make conversations with your doctor, who are products of this healthcare system, feel inconclusive and dismissive, leaving you wondering what to do next. And if it’s all in your head, do not let this happen. But what does this mean for getting a conclusive perimenopause diagnosis so that you can get on with resetting your body and brain and feeling like yourself again? Well, you have to go to your healthcare appointment, knowledgeable about your symptoms and
knowledgeable about perimenopause. So knowledgeable, in fact, that you can self-advocate for a conclusive diagnosis and request unbiased information about the treatment options. If you are over the age of 30, you need to be confident to ask your doctor to PLEASE factor in hormones as the cause of your symptoms, and you need to be confident enough to notice and respond to medical gaslighting no matter what they say so that you can get clear next steps. Now, the best case you’re looking for is for your doctor to say you could be in perimenopause and maybe even: let’s run some other tests to rule out X, Y, zZ. And in the meantime, here’s the next clear concise step. So here’s what you need to do. Start tracking your symptoms. Become an expert in your own body and your new perimenopause body language. Get really clear on the themes and cycles of your symptoms and show up so knowledgeable about yourself, your health and wellbeing values, and the available treatment options, at least broadly, so that your doctor knows
you mean business and gaslighting is not an option. Now I’ve developed a foolproof formula to help you track your symptoms that leaves no stone unturned and no symptom unacknowledged ever again, so that you can become an expert in your own body and fast track your perimenopause diagnosis. I have made a whole video about that, so click to watch that now, subscribe to catch the latest episodes and share with your girlfriends so that we can ensure that every woman on our beautiful planet has individualized health and wellbeing solutions at her fingertips. See you in the next episode.