Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.


Dear Dr. Pat,

I am 49 and developed menopause after three years of very infrequent cycles. I am otherwise in good health. I have no personal risk for blood clots or heart disease.  I am fit and have normal weight.  I have no bad habits, honestly.  There is no cancer in my family and most of the members of my parents’ generation lived to very old age.

I have constant hot flashes with sweating and flushing. I have night sweats and terribly disrupted sleep. I am tired all day and more than a little bit cranky. These symptoms are  affecting my personal life and my work life. I have tried all the non-medical treatments for my menopause symptoms that are much worse now that I have been a year without a period.

 My ob-gyn does lots of obstetrics. I don’t see many older women in her waiting room.   I get 15 minutes of my doctor’s time when I can get an appointment and it is clear that she thinks I am just not trying hard enough to exercise, meditate, avoid emotional and dietary triggers for the flashes and flushes or that I am over-reacting.She put me on a regimen of melatonin for sleep and that did not help.  At another visit she recommended that I start  an antidepressant that she said had helped women with hot flashes but I have more going on than just hot flashes!  And I am not depressed . . .  yet.  She doesn’t think that hormone therapy is a good idea and tells me that these symptoms will be over soon. What can I do to get this doctor to understand that I really want to try hormone therapy?


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  • LK August 24, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I had the same experience. My doctor also leaned more towards obstetrics and I went for three years suffering with painful sex before I finally went to a gynecologist in another system, who prescribed a treatment right away. I was also suffering from recurring bouts of genital herpes until the new doctor prescribed Valcylovir, which saved me!

  • Andre Leonard August 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    “I don’t see many older women in her waiting room. I get 15 minutes of my doctor’s time when I can get an appointment”

    I agree, it’s time for you to find a doctor who’s practice is more geared towards treating menopause and ‘not’ delivering babies.

    Hope you find the doctor who is attentive and you getting better soon.