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What to say to your GP

Booking an appointment with your GP to discuss your menopause is an important step in taking control of your health journey. Here’s how to make the most of that first chat.
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What to expect when you visit your GP

If your GP knows you want to discuss your perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms, they might send you a medical questionnaire to fill out before you see them. This is totally normal and allows them to find out some important information before the appointment. Alternatively, they might ask you why you booked the appointment during your session. They may also ask a few questions about your general physical and mental health, and your medical history.


Try to be as honest as possible and be sure to give them as much detail as you can about your symptoms. You may feel uncomfortable or even a little embarrassed, but remember, they’re trained to support you, and they’re likely to have heard it all before! This will help them decide what can help you and what the best course of action might be.​

female gp explaining the prognosis
woman working on laptop outdoors in the garden

Checklist of how best to prepare for your GP appointment

It’s easy to forget important details or questions once you’re in the consulting room. It might be useful to write a list of essential information on your phone or in a notebook. These may include:


  • Your main reason for booking this appointment
  • What symptoms you’ve experienced, how often, and when they began
  • How your symptoms affect your life and whether they follow a pattern – for example – if they occur after you’ve eaten certain foods or during a particular point in your menstrual cycle
  • Any medications you’re taking
  • Any urgent questions you want to ask before leaving the consulting room

What your GP says and what they mean

Here are a few technical terms you might not be familiar with that describe perimenopause, menopause, and their symptoms. You’ll find more in our jargon buster that you can download below.

Urogenital symptoms1

Symptoms such as frequent or painful weeing or bladder infections. Your vagina might feel dry, itchy, or irritated and it might be painful to have sex.

Vasomotor symptoms2

These can include night sweats, hot flushes, a racing heart, and changes in blood pressure.

Greene Climacteric Scale3

A questionnaire GPs sometimes use to help gauge how menopause symptoms might be affecting a person’s day-to-day life.

Namrita, 53, West London

I was so confused when I first started getting symptoms. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. But once I’d spoken to my GP I began to see that it was the menopause that was making me feel different and I realised that there were things I could do to manage it, and even see it as a new beginning.

Beth, 44, Wolverhampton

At night, my internal thermostat can flip between shivering cold and, “Get away from me NOW!”. It was my wife who started the conversation – she gently suggested that I might be perimenopausal. When I saw my GP they were really helpful and suggested some resources. Now I feel much more prepared for the changes I might go through over the next few years, and I know how to articulate what’s happening and advocate for myself when it comes to getting the right care.

Getting the most of your GP appointment​

Be honest

It’s important that you are honest with your GP about your symptoms and concerns. The more they know, the better they can support you.

Make a note

There can be a lot of information to take in during your appointment. It might help you remember next steps, lifestyle changes, treatment options and so on, if you write them down​ on your phone or in a notebook.

Ask questions

Ask about anything you are unsure of before leaving the room, your GP wants to know that they’ve answered all your questions during your appointment. You’ll find some common questions to ask your doctor about menopause later on in this page.

Bring support

If you feel you need it, you can take a relative, friend or carer to your appointment for support. They can help you answer any questions and take notes for you.

Questions to ask your doctor about menopause

I am having medical treatment that will trigger menopause: can you explain what I should expect?


If I am overweight or a smoker, does it affect my treatment options?


If I already take an antidepressant, will that affect any treatments
I can try for mood changes during menopause?

What types of treatment are suitable for my symptoms?

What are the benefits and risks of different treatments?

Are there any complementary therapies that could help?

What type of HRT is suitable for me?

How quickly will HRT improve my symptoms?

How and when do we decide I should stop taking HRT?

Can I still become pregnant on HRT?

Are there any long-term effects of taking HRT?

If I don’t want to take HRT, or can’t for medical reasons, what other treatments are there?

Should I still use contraception during menopause to avoid pregnancy?

Are there any support organisations in my local area?

Can you provide any information for my family or carers?

  1. Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust. Decision making, concentration and memory changes/problems during menopause Information Leaflet. Available at: Accessed October 2023.
  2. NHS. Low sex drive (loss of libido). Available at: Accessed October 2023.
  3. Greene JG. Constructing a standard climacteric scale. Maturitas. 1998;29:25–31.
  4. NHS. Menopause. Overview. Available at: Accessed September 2023.
  5. NHS. Osteoporosis causes. Available at: Accessed October 2023.
  6. NHS. Heart palpitations. Available at: Accessed October 2023.
  7. Santoro N. Perimenopause: from research to practice. J Women’s Health. 2016;25:332–339.
  8. NHS. Urinary incontinence. Available at: Accessed October 2023.
  9. Women’s Health Concern. Urogenital problems. Available at: “ Accessed October 2023
  10. Baker FC, et al. Changes in heart rate and blood pressure during nocturnal hot flashes associated with and without awakenings. Sleep. 2019: 42:zsz175.
  11. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What Is Venous Thromboembolism? Available at:,leg%2C%20thigh%2C%20or%20pelvis. Accessed October 2023.

Do you feel more confident talking about menopause symptoms having visited this website?