Menopause Matters: Who to See When? Women's Health Specialists vs. Endocrinologists

There are many commonly held symptoms between thyroid problems and menopause that may require you to visit either an endocrinologist or a women's health specialist. Here's a breakdown to help you decide who you need to see during your menopause.


Menopause, a natural transition for all women, can bring a wave of changes that may feel unfamiliar. While these symptoms are common, it's important to know when to seek professional help, and who the right consultant is for you, as sometimes what may feel like menopausal symptoms can be indicative of another issue, such as thyroid problems.

What are common symptoms of both menopause and endocrinological issues?

Many symptoms of both menopause and thyroid problems are quite similar in experience and intensity. Common symptoms shared by both conditions include:

  • Irregular Periods/Hot Flashes: These are classic signs of menopause. However, if you're experiencing these symptoms along with others on this list, it's important to see a doctor to rule out thyroid issues.
  • Mood Swings/Irritability: Mood swings are a common symptom of menopause due to hormonal fluctuations. However, they can also be a sign of thyroid problems, particularly hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns: Difficulty sleeping or waking up frequently at night are common during menopause. However, sleep disturbances can also be a symptom of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
  • Weight Gain/Difficulty Losing Weight: This can be a symptom of both menopause and thyroid problems. During menopause, hormonal changes can lead to a decrease in metabolism and an increase in body fat storage. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can also cause weight gain and fatigue.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired all the time is a common complaint during menopause and can also be a sign of an underactive thyroid.
  • Dry Skin/Hair Loss: These can occur due to hormonal changes during menopause. However, dry skin and hair loss can also be signs of an underactive thyroid.
  • Irregular Heartbeat: This can be a symptom of both menopause and hyperthyroidism.
  • Changes in Bowel Habits: Constipation is a common complaint during menopause. However, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause changes in bowel habits, including constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Difficulty concentrating/completing tasks and brain fog: Brain fog is not a medical term, but most people that experience changes in memory or cognition refer to these with this term.  Brain fog in menopause can present as loss of focus, distractibility, or even time lapses.    

When to See a Women's Health Specialist

  • Managing Common Menopausal Symptoms: Women's health specialists, such as gynaecologists or obstetric gynaecologists (Obs-Gyns) are experts in all aspects of female health, including menopause. They can address common symptoms like hot flushes, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. They can also discuss lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and recommend non-hormonal therapies to manage these symptoms.
  • Discussing Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): HRT can be a helpful option for some women experiencing moderate to severe menopausal symptoms. Women's health specialists are well-versed in the risks and benefits of HRT and can help you decide if it's right for you.
  • Routine Women's Health Screenings: It's important to continue your regular well-woman examinations during menopause. Your women's health specialist can provide breast cancer screenings, cervical smears (or smear tests), and other age-appropriate preventive care.
  • Mental and Emotional Well-being: Menopause can sometimes impact your mental and emotional well-being. Your women's health specialist can screen for symptoms of depression or anxiety and offer support or refer you to a mental health professional if needed.

When to See an Endocrinologist

  • Suspected Underlying Hormonal Imbalances: While menopause causes hormonal fluctuations, sometimes these changes can be more significant or indicative of an underlying hormonal imbalance. An endocrinologist specialises in the endocrine system and the hormones it produces. If your doctor suspects a condition like hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), other menstrual cycle disorders, or syndromes of hormonal excess, such as Cushing's syndrome or acromegaly, or any disorder of glucose metabolism, they may refer you to an endocrinologist for further evaluation and treatment.
  • Severe or Unmanageable Menopausal Symptoms: If your menopausal symptoms are severe and significantly impacting your quality of life, despite treatment from your women's health specialist, an endocrinologist may be able to offer additional treatment options or help manage complex hormonal interactions.
  • Long-Term Management of Pre-existing Hormonal Conditions: If you have a pre-existing hormonal condition like hypothyroidism or diabetes, an endocrinologist will likely be your primary care provider during menopause to ensure these conditions are well-managed alongside menopausal symptoms.

Contact Us

Women's health specialists and endocrinologists both play a vital role in women's healthcare during menopause. Understanding their areas of expertise can help you determine who the best professional is to address your specific needs.

At OneWelbeck, we have both a Womens’ Health and Endocrinology centre, so whatever your symptoms, please get in touch. If you would like to see an endocrinologist, get in touch with us today, or visit our Women's Health centre to see a specialist.