UT Health is offering a new service to help women better cope with their menopause symptoms.
The Menopause Clinic — the first in the area — will be open every Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Ruppert Health Center on Health Science Campus beginning Oct. 14.Dr. Lance Talmage, professor and interim chair of the UT Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is partnering with Dr. Terry Gibbs, a ProMedica OB-GYN with a faculty appointment at UT. Gibbs is certified through the North American Menopausal Society.
“We will be consulting with women to determine the best approach to curbing their menopause symptoms,” Talmage said. “We will look at hormonal therapies as well as non-hormonal therapies, prescription drugs and herbal options.”
While many patients will be referred to the clinic, women also can make an appointment on their own. For instance, menopause is a side effect of some cancer treatments, so Talmage expects to get referrals from oncologists.
Gibbs said menopause becomes a quality of life issue for many women as they could experience low energy, sleep troubles or sexual difficulties. Some women don’t know that drinking hot coffee, smoking or drinking alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms. In some cases, menopause can trigger anxiety or feelings of sadness and loss.
“We will talk a lot about the management of all the menopause symptoms and discuss hereditary cancers that become more prevalent in middle age,” Gibbs said. “There are so many things that women don’t consider. They think, ‘I am done with kids; I don’t need to see a gynecologist.’ However, there is more of a reason to see a gynecologist at age 50 than at age 20.”
Talmage and Gibbs said they are seeing a cultural change with baby boomers; they do not want to just accept these symptoms as a part of life.
“There is less of a willingness to say, ‘This is the way it is. I am older, and I have to deal with it.’ Women these days want to ‘fix’ their menopausal symptoms,” Talmage said.
Appointments at the Menopause Clinic will be 45 minutes each and involve a consultation, a physical exam and possible bone test scans, depending on the age of the patient. All patients will receive written literature to take home.
“One of my objectives is to make sure that UT residents are trained in menopausal health care,” Gibbs said. “Most residents get very little training on this topic, but it is something that virtually all doctors will come across during their practice.”
Gibbs said menopause consultation is a gap in care that needs to be filled.
“I think there are so many things in this field that are coming to the market every day. It is fast-changing. There is so much research going on right now.”
Patients can make appointments by calling 419.383.3787. Insurance is expected to cover most visits.