Menopause Consultation Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Common Myths about Menopause
Iris Tong, MD, of the Women's Medicine Collaborative, discusses common myths about menopause. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 401-793-7010.
What symptoms should motivate me to consider a consultation appointment?
If you are having problems such as hot flashes, night sweats, disrupted sleep, fatigue, mood changes or anxiety during the menopausal transition years, you may want to see us.
Do I need a referral from my provider?
Yes. Speak with your primary care provider or gynecologist about your symptoms and ask if they think a referral to our program is appropriate for you. Patients are seen by referral only.
Can I get hormone replacement therapy?
Yes. The providers in the Menopause Consultation Program prescribe hormone replacement therapy, if appropriate. We can discuss the most up-to-date information about the risks and benefits of hormone treatments and help you make the best choice for you.
Can I get bio-identical hormone therapy (BHT)?
While our providers are knowledgeable about BHT, we adhere to the guidelines of the North American Menopause Society. We are happy to discuss with patients the differences between BHT and conventional hormone replacement therapy and answer any questions.
Are there alternative therapies for my menopause symptoms?
Absolutely. We offer non-hormonal medication, non-medication treatments, herbal therapies, and lifestyle modification recommendations that can help minimize menopause symptoms.
I am experiencing sexual discomfort. Can you help?
Yes. We have years of experience in treating painful intercourse and vaginal dryness.
Who will I see during the visit?
Your first visit will be with a gynecologist or nurse practitioner who specializes in menopause. We have four providers who have different specialty backgrounds:
- Mary Catherine DeRosa, MD, FACOG, NCMP, CCD, Debra Brendel, MD, FACOG, NCMP, and/or Cynthia Martufi, FNP-BC, NCMP will do a thorough assessment of your symptoms and discuss a treatment plan with you.
If you are experiencing mood changes or anxiety symptoms, we have two women’s behavioral medicine providers on our team as well.
- Teri Pearlstein, MD may meet briefly with you at your first visit and can schedule a longer appointment if desired.
I will be having a hysterectomy and plan to have my ovaries removed. Is a menopause consultation advised before this surgery?
Usually it is not necessary to see us before having a hysterectomy unless you are having symptoms of menopause that you feel may become more pronounced after removal of your ovaries. However, if you have concerns about how you will deal with loss of ovary function, we would be happy to see you pre-operatively to answer your questions. We are also available to discuss treatment for symptoms after a surgery.
If I need a specialist to address my symptoms, can you recommend someone for me?
If you need to see a specialist, we will work with your referring provider to select the best specialist for you. The Women’s Medicine Collaborative has a wide variety of medical specialists available in our office. We also have a special women’s physical therapy team that cares for women with various pelvic complaints.
I know osteoporosis is a concern after menopause. Are you able to assess my bone health?
At the Women’s Medicine Collaborative, we have the first and only bone densitometry unit in Rhode Island certified by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry. If you need a bone density test, we can arrange this for you and make sure your primary care provider receives a copy of the results. Hormones play an important role in maintenance of healthy bones through the menopausal transition. We will discuss this and other bone health information with you. We can discuss and start some treatments for osteoporosis, but we will refer you back to your primary care provider for long-term bone health follow up care. Severe osteoporosis may require referral to a bone specialist for a more involved evaluation or treatment with special medication.