Bioidentical Hormone and Gynecology Visits
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I have been reading and hearing about Bioidentical Hormones. Now I want to talk to Dr. Rabin about this option for treating my hormone imbalance or deficiency. Can I do that?
A: Yes. This is a major part of Dr. Rabin’s practice. In fact, it’s a passion. This is not a new interest for Dr. Rabin. He’s been emphasizing the use of bioidentical hormones since he began private practice in 1993.
Call to schedule your hormone consultation. Dr. Rabin will review your symptoms and history. Hormone testing may be ordered; you may be able start on bioidentical hormones depending on your situation. A follow up in about 3-6 weeks is scheduled to review your labs and your initial response to the natural hormones.
Bring in any recent labs you may have and also your current or recent prescriptions if any. Due to the time required to have a consultation, there is not enough time to have a consult & an annual exam at the same visit.
Q: How often will I need to come in to see Dr. Rabin?
A: Plan on an initial visit and a follow up appointment (4 weeks later). After that, you will come in every 6 months and also for your annual well-woman visit. If you need to address problems, side effects, reactions or need to make changes to the prescription, we will schedule an appointment.
Dr. Rabin cannot review your labs, change your prescription, add new prescriptions or manage problems over the phone. We will make every effort to find a convenient time for you to come in for a brief or extended visit based on your concern.
Please do not call with requests to change dosages, or to discuss lab results in detail. Also please do not e-mail with questions. please call and if the medical assistants cannot answer your question, you will be asked to make an appointment.
Q: How much will a consultation cost?
A: A visit to a gynecologist for an annual exam or for a problem is usually a covered service on your insurance plan. Your diagnosis may be menopause symptoms or premenopausal symptoms, PMS, PMDD, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, irregular, heavy or even absent periods… (there’s a long list).
You’re probably seeking this consultation because you have one of the many conditions or “problems” that may have their roots in a hormone imbalance or deficiency! Most insurance plans will usually cover problem visits such as these (subject to you first paying your deductible, copayments, etc.). A problem visit to a gynecologist is usually a covered service and you can expect to pay your “specialist” co-pay after your deductible has been met.
Every insurance plan is different so you may ask your carrier about your individual coverage.
Labs tests are usually be covered, after your deductible has been met. We will send your blood tests to the best lab based on your insurance’s preference.
Q: Where do I get these bioidentical hormones? How much do they cost? Are they covered by my insurance?
A: There are some bioidentical hormones that can be picked up at any traditional pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription (are your surprised!?). If the bioidentical hormones you need are available at the regular pharmacy, you can expect to pay your usual pharmacy co-pay according to your insurance plan. Sometimes, your prescription will need to be filled by a compounding pharmacy.
Dr. Rabin is familiar with many of the compounding pharmacies in the area and in a few other states. Your prescriptions will be faxed to the pharmacy that you and Dr. Rabin agree upon. You will make arrangements to either pick them up or have them shipped to you.
Insurance sometimes covers these prescriptions; but usually not. You may find that the cost of the compounded prescriptions is not much more than your usual co-pay. This makes it unnecessary to argue with your insurance plan for coverage. Dr. Rabin will work with you to find a cost-effective method to use bioidentical hormones.
Q: Can Dr. Rabin become my regular gynecologist? Does he do Paps and surgery and the other gynecological procedures?
A: Absolutely. Yes! Dr. Rabin is a board-certified gynecologist and has a busy general gynecological practice. Dr. Rabin performs surgery at Providence Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank, California.
He has been in practice since 1993 and stopped obstetrics (delivering babies) in 2007. In certain rare situations, some women stay with their usual OB/GYN and just come to see us for hormone management (usually due to geographical distance considerations). We can work out any relationship that suits you as long as we know you are up to date on your health screening exams.
There are times when Dr. Rabin may need to examine you when you have particular concerns that need an evaluation. He also performs gynecological ultrasound exams to evaluate the uterus, uterine lining, and ovaries when necessary, especially in cases of abnormal or post-menopausal bleeding.
Q: Can I get my hormone tests done before my first visit?
A: No. If you are a new patient we cannot possibly know enough about your unique situation to determine which of the many, many tests would be relevant for you.
Also, depending on what you are currently taking we might make recommendations to stay on your current meds, testing a certain number of hours after you last dose, or having you discontinue certain meds for a specific number of weeks before drawing hormone tests. Testing your estrogen or progesterone levels while you are taking synthetic hormones or birth control pills will not be very useful!
We do tests depending on your unique situation and what questions we need answered!
Many times, your history, age and symptoms tell us enough to start bioidentical therapy at a dose that is appropriate for your age, your previous experience with prescriptions or your symptoms.
After initiating a bioidentical hormone supplement routine, you may need testing and follow-up to help guide further changes in dosage or method of delivery (pill, cream, pellets or others).
Q: Does Dr. Rabin use Hormone PELLETS? (Sometimes called Sotto Pelle)
A: YES. Dr. Rabin has offered long lasting bioidentical hormone pellets since 1993. Pellets offer certain unique advantages and may be the only successful option- especially when nothing else seems to work.
Q: What should I bring with me to the visit?
A: *Please* Bring:
• Your insurance Card and Copayment (if any) and some Cash for parking
• Come to the Appointment 15 minutes early; we really try to start your visit on time
• A copy of recent lab tests if you have them (pap, hormones, cholesterol..anything. Especially if done in the last 12 months)
• Write down the starting dates of you last few periods
• A list of your main questions in priority order (so we use the time effectively to get to your top concern)
• A written list of your medications, dosage, allergies and supplements
• Also make a list of your top symptoms or problems
Q: Should I stop what I am taking (hormones, vitamins, herbs, birth control pills, etc) before the visit?
A: No. Come in using exactly what you have been using so we can evaluate where you are starting from!
Q: What else can I do before my first visit with Dr. Rabin?
A: Read our informative e-book, “10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Feel Better!“ *And make sure you have good directions to our office and parking deck.