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Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
Mom1008 posted:
I am 36 years old. I was diagnosed with POF through a requested blood test last year. Though my doctor didn't necessarily believe my descriptions of hot flashes, night sweats, etc... she appeased me with a blood test.

I am now on the CombiPatch and a low dose antidepressant. I am blessed that I am happily married and that my family was already complete prior to this diagnosis.

My problem is that it is obvious to me that my doctor is "learning as she goes." I ask questions, she does research, and she gets back to me. While I'm glad that she is willing to help, I don't know that I want to the be the patient she is learning on.

Anyone else here with POF? How do you find a doctor with this speciality?
Anon_6061 responded:
I don't have POF but a somewhat similar situation. I'm in medically induced (specifically surgical) menopause after an unnecessary hysterectomy and ovary removal. Most of the doctors I've seen either don't understand or won't acknowledge the difference between it and natural menopause. (An intact woman's ovaries produce hormones into her 80's so ovary removal and even premature ovarian failure, medically induced or "natural failure", is very different from natural menopause.)

Although I want the best care and a doctor who's knowledgeable, I now find it necessary to do my own research and advocate for myself for a few reasons -
1) no one cares about my health like I do and I'm the one who will suffer the consequences of inadequate treatment
2) doctors are a product of their medical school training and don't always keep up with current medical findings
3) my experience left me with a bit of distrust as well as a realization that health care is big business and profit motivated like any other business

A doctor who's willing to listen and learn is, in my opinion, better than a "top doctor" who doesn't listen, has absolutely no compassion, and rushes you through appointments. I've found a partner in my health in my primary care doctor. I go in with a list and and if she doesn't know something I want to discuss, she looks it up right there on her laptop. I've had specific requests for labwork and she's complied (as long as she doesn't feel they're useless). I've educated her about the many functions of the ovaries of which she appeared to be unaware before which will hopefully help her be a better doctor to other patients.

Of course, you may be able to find a doctor who is knowledgeable about POF and possesses many of the other "good doctor" traits. It's definitely worth trying to find one. An endocrinologist especially a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) would seem to be your best bet. However, you may want to prescreen any RE's you're considering to be sure they'll take patients who're not wanting infertility treatments. In case you haven't come across this POF organization, it may be helpful in your health journey - There are also a number of POF internet support groups.

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website