Get Personalized Answers To Your Menopause Concerns
By: Pelin Batur, MD • Posted on February 01, 2024
New way to get personalized answers to your questions about hormones!
There is a big problem in the world of menopause. There are roughly 6,000 women in the US entering menopause every day, but there are only about 1,700 certified menopause specialists around the world! Why is there is such a disconnect between the need for support, and the availability of help? Many reasons.
The care of women at midlife can be quite complicated, as the needs of each individual is different based on their symptoms, personal medical history and their risk factors for various diseases. Also, studies on hormone therapy can be difficult to interpret, which has led to misunderstanding or misquoting of the science. Menopause and hormone conversations are often complex, so the typical office visit may not give enough time for the doctor to address all of a patient's concerns. Consequently, many clinicians now shy away from menopause management, and education on menopause care has not been prioritized in medical training programs for the last 20 years.
The end result is that women have questions, but have limited options to turn to for accurate and unbiased answers. Given the long wait times to get an appointment with menopause certified specialists, we are looking to create innovative ways to provide more comprehensive, timely and affordable care so that women can understand their options during this important phase of life.
In 2024, Cleveland Clinic will be offering weekly group virtual menopause visits (for new or established patients). These are also called shared medical appointments, or SMAs. Without needing to travel and in the comfort of your home, you will be able to connect with a menopause specialist for an extended visit that will cover all things hormonal, including perimenopause, menopause, sexual and bone health. These visits will provide an innovative way to have more time with a menopause specialist and learn not only from the doctor, but from the questions of other women. This option is available to all patients who will be in the state of Ohio or Michigan at the time of their virtual Zoom video visit.
When are these appointments?
The video group visits are every Thursday at 10:30 AM EST. You can schedule only one appointment, or a series of them - this is up to you.
What should I expect during the visit?
Before the visit, you will need a Cleveland Clinic MyChart account. You will be sent a health history questionnaire through the secure MyChart portal the week prior to the video visit. The questionnaire allows the doctor to give you more personalized answers to your questions. Through this secure portal, you will connect on a Zoom Cleveland Clinic visit with other patients that have similar questions and concerns.
During the visit, the menopause specialist will first review some important information, including what she wishes every patient knew, as well as answers to the most commonly asked questions. Then, each patient will have an opportunity to ask their own questions, and hear the answers to the questions others have asked. It is okay to not have questions, and connect only to hear the discussion.
The session will last more than 1 hour, so it is important to have a fully charge electronic device when connecting. A quiet, private environment is recommended when connecting.
What is the cost?
Although this is a longer visit, it is not billed as a long or complex visit. This will be billed to insurance like a typical short doctor visit. There are no other additional fees. The visit will focus on a detailed discussion about symptom management, treatment options, and minimizing disease risks. Usually, the visit does not involve prescribing medications or ordering lab tests. This format will allow for more fruitful discussion at a follow-up one-on-one visit (with the clinician of your choice) where medication management or testing can be individualized. Focusing on education and discussion helps keep the visit costs at the lowest possible levels.
How do I schedule an appointment for these visits?
Appointments can be scheduled by calling Cleveland Clinic Obstetrics & Gynecology Institute at 216-444-8686.
Throughout 2024, we have many exciting plans to expand the menopause information on our Cleveland Clinic website, so make sure to check back for more updates!
Be Strong, Be Healthy, Be in Charge!
By: Pelin Batur MD, FACP, MSCP
Professor of Ob-Gyn & Reproductive Biology
Obstetrics and Gynecology Institute, Cleveland Clinic
Department of Subspecialty Care for Women’s Health
Center for Specialized Women's Health
About Pelin Batur, MD
Pelin Batur MD has been at the Cleveland Clinic since 1998; she works in the Department of Subspecialty Care for Women's Health, within the Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Institute. She is a Professor of Ob/Gyn & Reproductive Biology at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Her practice is a referral resource for women with complex hormonal needs. Her areas of expertise include menopause, medically complex contraception (including menstrual migraine and menstrually associated neurologic conditions), osteoporosis, and sexual health. She has been integral to the creation of several programs within the Ob-Gyn department, including the Sexual Health Program as well as the Complex Contraception Clinic. She also serves as the hormone liaison for multidisciplinary programs in partnership with the Cancer Institute, including the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer as well the Young Onset Colorectal Cancer Programs.
- Shared Medical Appointments: What are they and are they right for you?
- Virtual Office Visits Vs In-Person Appointments