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Article: Exploring the Benefits of Consulting a Specialist Menopause Doctor vs. a General Practitioner?

Ladies hands, with post it notes, looking at options

Exploring the Benefits of Consulting a Specialist Menopause Doctor vs. a General Practitioner?

An interesting question; should I pay for my Menopause Care or can my GP offer me what I need for a great midlife experience? The journey through menopause is unique for each individual, leading many to consider whether specialised menopause care or general practitioner support is the most fitting for their needs. This decision hinges on several factors including personal health priorities, the complexity of symptoms, and financial considerations.

Questions you may ask; What is the difference in training between a Menopause Specialist and a GP? What is the best medicine for menopause? How many types and variables of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) are there? Are they all available on the NHS or are some only available privately? How do I find a Menopause Specialist, and how do I know they are qualified? How much does  a Menopause Specialist cost? Can I be referred to a Menopause Specialist by my GP?

Here are some points to help you make a decision, or make the most of your decision;

GP Medical Training for Menopause in the UK; up until now, Menopause has been covered under the General Practitioner curriculum [Ref. 1] at Medical School however, it has not been mandatory. According to a study in 2020; 41% of UK universities did not have mandatory menopause education on the curriculum [Ref. 2] and so, GP training has been inconsistent  across the country in terms of quality, quantity, depth and breadth of the information available to medical students. 
To keep GPs updated and trained the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) works with; British Menopause Society (BMS), and the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, to develop training resources for GPs.They also work alongside NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) who produce standardised guidance for GPs [Ref. 3]. GPs are required by RCGP to maintain professional development through courses etc to retain their GP qualifications [Ref. 4].

From 2024, all students training to be a General Practitioner will be required to complete mandatory women’s health training under the Government’s first-ever Women’s Health strategy [Ref. 5].

What qualifies a Menopause Specialist?
Menopause Specialists are professional caregivers who have taken extra qualifications specific to Menopause, for example:
  • Menopause Care Professional Certificate (MCPC) [Ref. 6] offered by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
  • Menopause Care Professional Diploma (MCPD), or BMS Advanced Certificate in the Principles and Practice of Menopause Care [Ref. 7].
This qualification equips specialists to  manage complex cases and deliver specialist menopause care. This includes healthcare professionals working in hospital and community menopause services, GPs with an extended role in menopause (GPwER), and those leading menopause services in private healthcare organisations.

How can we compare the difference so we can make the right decision? 
*the table below is a general view and may be different in your Doctors Practise


Private Menopause Specialist

Appointment Booking Lead Time

2-8 weeks

Within 2 weeks normally

Appointment Discussion

GPs cover all aspects of the public's health and all age groups so your GP may not be as experienced in menopausal symptoms and discussions.

Menopause Specialists are very comfortable and experienced at discussing perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms - physical, psychological and cognitive.

Appointment Length

10-15 mins

45-60 mins

Appointment Dates

Structured in the working day

More flexible, can include evenings and weekends.

Treatments Available

Standard HRT options

Extended HRT options, including tailored regimes, body-identical hormones, testosterone, and new medicines.


HRT prescription

Consultation £250-300 approx*

Follow Up £150 approx*

*Depending on Specialist and their experience, in-person or online.

Can I get a referral to see a Menopause Specialist on the NHS? 
GPs can refer more complex cases to an NHS Menopause Clinic but the waiting time for these clinics can be long and there are only a few dedicated NHS clinics in the country. 
Making Your Choice: 
When considering a private menopause doctor, it's important to acknowledge that menopause symptoms typically last 4-8 years, with varying degrees of severity [Ref. 8]: 
  • 1 in 4 will experience very few symptoms
  • 3 in 4 will experience symptoms
  • 1 in 4 will experience debilitating symptoms.

First step is to discuss your options with a healthcare professional to make an informed decision that's right for you.  Menopause is a natural life stage and it's better to be informed and have options to make your journey the best it can be.

'Something women really value in a private consultation is time, not to feel rushed, to fully explore their options. If you opt for HRT, you might take it for several years, so that is important. You also get someone with deep knowledge of the subject. This means the treatment can be better tailored to your specific needs.  Adjusting doses and combinations can mean you get the best possible outcome.' Dr Nina Wilson.

If you do wish to see a Menopause Specialist Private Doctor, Midst suggests Dr Nina Wilson for a Midst Medical Menopause Plan.



Ref 1: Royal College of General Practitioners curriculum
Ref 2: Freedom of Information (FOI) request put to the UK’s 33 medical schools by the founder of Menopause Support and the #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign, Diane Danzebrink, in 2020. 
Ref 3: NICE GP guidance. Menopause: diagnosis and management
Ref 4: GP ongoing training requirements
Ref 5: Government's first-ever  new Woman’s Health Strategy
Ref 6: Menopause Care Professional certificate course.
Ref 7: BMS Principles in Menopause Care qualification
Ref 8: Menopause Statistics,

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