Experiencing signs of menopause? Here’s how to find the right certified practitioner. (Spoiler: It’s not your Gyn)

What is a naturopathic doctor?

Before we dive into specific certifications, let’s get clear on what it means to be a naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic medicine is a practice that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself. It encompasses various therapies, including herbs, exercise, body work (like massage), acupuncture, exercise, and nutritional counseling. There are different types of naturopathic practitioners, including traditional naturopaths, naturopathic physicians, and healthcare providers with training in naturopathic medicine.

Naturopathic physicians, also known as naturopathic doctors (ND) or doctors of naturopathic medicine (NMD), attend an accredited four-year, graduate-level school, where they study basic sciences similar to those studied in conventional medical school. They also study nutrition, psychology, and complementary therapies such as herbal medicine and homeopathy. Naturopathic doctors pass two sets of board exams to become licensed and practice and take continuing education classes each year to maintain their license[5].

Licensure is the process by which a naturopathic physician proves that they have the proper education and skills to practice naturopathic medicine. After graduating from an accredited four-year naturopathic medicine program, naturopathic doctors are qualified to practice medicine only after passing the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) board examinations, which test their understanding of biomedical and clinical sciences, as well as their diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge[3].


Is there a such thing as a menopause specialist?

If you’re in your mid-thirties to fifties and looking for someone to help you navigate your pre-menopause, menopausal or post menopausal symptoms, you might want to turn to a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP).

NAMS refers to the North American Menopause Society, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,900 leaders in the field makes NAMS uniquely qualified to provide information that is both accurate and unbiased.. The NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP) certification is important as it demonstrates that the provider has obtained specialized training, expertise and a high level of competency in the field of menopause management, which can be crucial for providing specialized care to menopausal patients during each stage.


What are the benefits of seeing a naturopathic menopause specialist? 

For many women, their first instinct is to book an appointment with their gynecologist or a general practitioner when they begin experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause. Perimenopause typically begins between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five, give or take a few years, and is the beginning stages of hormonal changes that lead to menopause. 

Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, increased anxiety, hair thinning, electrical sensations,and changes in sleep patterns are often the catalyst for booking the appointment. However, your general practitioner or gynecologist probably isn’t your best option. 

Unless specifically mentioned, Obstetricians, gynecologists, and general practitioners  don’t have speciality training in menopause and hormonal changes. In fact, most  only take one menopausal-focused course during the course of their education. Most women who go to their regular doctors for help with perimenopausal symptoms are told they don’t need hormone replacement therapy yet.

Similarly, a naturopathic doctor without menopause-specific training might recommend herbs and supplements that aren’t evidence-based to treat perimenopause.

When you choose a NAMS-certified naturopath to walk alongside you through perimenopause and menopause, you’re choosing an advocate with extensive training in nutrition, exercise, stress management, and supplements – all crucial aspects of your care. Additionally, they bring insights and training in hormone treatment that are specific to this transitional stage of life.


Are you ready to tackle hormone changes and menopause?

Book a consultation with Dr. Kate.




[1] https://aanmc.org/featured-articles/difference-between-traditional-naturopath-and-licensed-naturopathic-doctor/

[2] https://www.naturopathicmedicine.website/licensure-specialties/licensure/

[3] https://nunm.edu/2019/05/nd-licensing-and-scope/

[4] https://scholistico.com/what-can-you-do-with-a-naturopathy-certification/

[5] https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-naturopathic-medicine

[6] https://www.menopause.org/About-NAMS