Menopause Clinic

The Menopause Clinic offers empathetic evidence-based advice from an Experienced Menopause Doctor who reads widely about the menopause and keeps this blog up to date.

The doctor will listen carefully to the issues, and cover symptoms, self-help, treatment options, and other menopause-related health issues such as Osteoporosis & Cardiovascular Risk.

Read our menopause clinic FAQs for more information.

How do I make a menopause Clinic appointment?

You’ll need to make a long appointment. It helps to let the receptionist know that you’d like to make an appointment about the menopause. Please read our FAQs for details.

My Friends cope really well with it, so why do I seem to have difficulties coping?

Some women experience mild or no symptoms – around a third of women never get flushes & such lucky friends or colleagues may wonder what all the fuss is about. At the other end of the scale, around 25% of women experience severe flushes.

It seems fair to say that there’s a tendency for women to underestimate the effect of the menopause on themselves perhaps for these reasons:

  • It’s a natural process – it is, but so are most medical issues.
  • A feeling that the symptoms will soon go. Flushes last longer than previously thought with the average duration being 7.4 years¹. Almost 1/3 of women experience symptoms lasting longer than 14 years.
  • Concerns regarding side effects of treatment.

Are the symptoms affecting your quality of life? Be honest with yourself, and if the answer is “yes” then please see your GP for a review.

You may wish to clarify for yourself whether the symptoms are significant using this Australian menopause society rating scale – Please bring this along to your appointment.

What else could be causing my excessive sweating?

The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis. Broadly speaking, the causes will either be “no cause” (primary hyperhidrosis) or a specific cause (secondary hyperhidrosis). The primary type usually starts in childhood or adolescence and is quite easy to diagnose in someone whose had it for a few years … this can be really embarrassing for patients but there are effective treatments (iontophoresis works well for hands or feet for example).

The secondary type might start in the years leading up to the menopause. The other common cause of sweating is medication (SSRI’s for depression & anti-inflammatories). Sometimes an overactive thyroid can present with sweats. Someone with known Parkinson’s disease or diabetic neuropathy may sweat excessively.

There are rare causes of excessive sweating and they really are rare compared to the previous list. Any concerns can be addressed by blood tests. Such rare causes include infections, lymphoma and even very rare endocrinological conditions such as phaeochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome – though having said that, these conditions do need to be considered.  I’ve tested hundreds of patients for these conditions but not come across one case. Lymphoma is one most people think of …. but it’s relatively uncommon and more often gives other symptoms; a GP can rule this out with a blood test and examination.

To conclude, excessive sweating is normally primary hyperhidrosis, or caused by hormonal changes leading up to the menopause, medications, and occasionally an overactive thyroid;  There are other causes not mentioned but these are normally obvious.

Menopause Clinic FAQs

What experience does the doctor have in treating the menopause?

Dr Richard Beatty is both physician trained (MRCP Lond) and Specialist GP accredited (RACGP).

The menopause is a complex area of medicine.  Many mainstream guidelines being over 50 pages long.

He keeps up to date with latest developments, and has been helping women through the menopause for over 20 years.

How long are the appointments?

The first appointment is typically 20 to 30 minutes.

What is the cost of the appointments?

Typical out of pocket costs (after medicare) are around $95 for a 1st appointment and $45 for subsequent appointments depending on the duration of the appointment.

Does The Doctor prescribe Bioidentical Hormones?

The controversy

All major Australian and international menopause guidelines do not recommend Bioidentical hormone therapy.

An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement in 2016 put out that there is  ‘no rationale for the routine prescribing of unregulated, untested, and potentially harmful custom-compounded bioidentical hormone therapies.’  Do  flick down the above reference – if only to appreciate the amount of expertise and thinking that goes into the strongly-worded statement. There are 254 scientific references appended.

Will Dr Beatty prescribe Bioidentical hormone therapy?

There are a wide range of treatment options for the menopause that are founded upon good evidence. Many hormone therapies can be considered to be ‘body equivalent.’

Dr Beatty believes that women should ultimately make their own decisions based on impartial information and for this reason will consider prescribing ongoing bioidentical hormone for those women who have been treated elsewhere.

Please bring any previous prescription along with you. Bioidentical hormone therapy is obtained from a compounding pharmacy.

WRITTEN BY: Dr Richard Beatty