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Frequently Asked
Questions

Physician Visits

What is telemedicine?

A:

    • CurieMD's telemedicine platform connects patients with board-certified physicians and practitioners through video chat and audio calls. Our initial visits are done over video chat, but follow-up visits can be done through other modes as well.

Who will I be meeting with?

A:

Each physician and practitioner on the CurieMD platform has many years of experience managing midlife health and prescribing hormone therapy. They are all specially trained on protocols developed by our nationally renowned Medical Advisory Board.

How long is the appointment?

A:

Each appointment lasts about 20 minutes through video conference.

How much does an appointment cost?

A:

All 20 minute appointments are priced at $39.

Can I choose my doctor / practitioner?

A:

    • Absolutely! We believe that you should have as much choice as you like in this process. You can see all of our physicians on the platform and select the ones that have availability. You can schedule follow-up visits with this physician / practitioner as well, so long as they have availability.

What is the frequency of check-ins?

A:

The check-in frequency will depend on the medication that you have been prescribed

        • Estradiol / progesterone: the first prescription will last for three months, during which time we will send you monthly emails checking in on how you are doing and how your symptoms are progressing. These responses help our physicians / practitioners better manage your menopause, although responses are not required. At the end of the three months, we require patients to have another visit with a CurieMD physician / practitioner to review symptoms, side effects, and discuss any dosage adjustments.
        • Oral contraceptive pills: The first prescription will last for three months, during which time we will send you monthly emails checking in on how you are doing and how your symptoms are progressing. At the end of three months, we encourage patients to speak with a physician to review symptoms and address questions, although it is not required.
        • Vaginal estradiol cream: The first prescription will last for one year; the first three months, we will send you monthly emails checking in on how you are doing and how your symptoms are progressing. At the end of three months, we encourage patients to speak with a physician to review symptoms and address questions, although it is not required.

Do you accept insurance?

A:

    • We do not accept insurance at this time. However, our consultation fees are lower than that of most copays and our medication pricing is competitive with that of most pharmacies.

Will this replace my primary care physician?

A:

No. CurieMD is not designed to take the place of your primary care physician or gynecologist, but rather to work hand-in-hand with him or her. As our platform is through telemedicine, we cannot perform in-person tasks, such as a physical exam. However, we can use your physician's input to create a personalized care plan to help support you during your journey through menopause and midlife.

Prescriptions

Can I get medication prescribed through CurieMD?

A:

    • Yes you can. We ask the same questions that would be asked during an in-person visit, which allows us to get your full medical history and make a prescribing decision. Additional testing may be required for refills of certain prescriptions - please see below.
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How do I get my medication refilled?

A:

The process for refills varies by the type of medication that has been prescribed:

  • Estradiol / progesterone: You will need to set up another video call with the physician or practitioner at 90 days to obtain future 90-day refills. While we don't require a mammogram report or blood test results to get the initial prescription, our protocols require that we have these on file by the end of the first 90 days and annually thereafter.
  • Oral contraceptive pills: If you are over the age of 45 years old, we require a mammogram on file by the end of the initial three month prescription. Upon receipt, you will receive a full year of refills.
  • Vaginal estradiol cream: Prescriptions last for a full year, at which time you will be required to schedule a visit with one of our trained health care professionals. While we don’t require a mammogram on file, we will ask whether you have received one within the last 24 months.

Why can’t I just get this prescribed by my primary care physician or gynecologist?

A:

    • You absolutely can! Unfortunately women have found that many physicians are not particularly well versed in midlife healthcare. Additionally, taking time to visit a doctor who has limited availability is not always convenient. We at CurieMD strive to give you the best and most convenient medical care from midlife health experts, all in the comfort of your own home.

How can I contact my pharmacist?

A:

    • Truepill is a licensed pharmacy that fulfills CurieMD’s direct-to-your-door medications.
    • Truepill pharmacy contact information: 
            • Phone number: (855) 910-8606
    • Email address: pharmacist@truepill.com
    • Mailing address: 3121 Diablo Ave, Hayward, CA 94545-2701


Additional Testing

Do I need my mammogram and blood test available for the first visit?

A:

No you do not. However, we do require these in order to continue prescribing for you. While hormone therapy and oral contraceptive pills are relatively safe and proven methods for helping address symptoms, having a more complete picture of your physical health helps ensure we are adhering to our expert protocols and reducing any risk of complications.

What if I haven't gotten a mammogram yet?

A:

CurieMD requires that all patients have had a normal mammogram within the last 24 months. You do not need to have your mammogram report on hand for the initial visit, but we will require one on file annually in order to provide ongoing refills of estradiol / progesterone and oral contraceptive pills.

Why are blood tests required in order for me to be prescribed hormone therapy?

A:

    • CurieMD aims to provide outstanding care as safely as possible. To achieve that, we require one set of blood tests to be done in the 2 years prior to starting with us for estradiol / progesterone. If your regular physician has already ordered them, with your permission, we will obtain a copy. If not, we are happy to order these blood tests for you. You do not need to do these tests each year.

Which blood tests specifically are required for all those who wish to continue on HRT?:

A:

    • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - measures thyroid hormone level
    • Complete blood count (CBC) - evaluates overall health and detects a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection and leukemia
    • Lipid (cholesterol) profile - measures blood fats and cholesterol levels
    • Complete metabolic panel (CMP) - evaluates electrolytes, liver and kidney function

Where can I get my blood test completed?

A:

    • Any lab can perform these blood tests. Our physicians / practitioners will prescribe the blood tests for you if they haven’t already been done in the past 2 years.
    • If you are looking for a lab near you, Quest Diagnostics is one of the largest laboratory networks in the country. You can follow the link below to find one near you: https://appointment.questdiagnostics.com/patient/findlocation

I don't know how to get a copy of my mammogram report. What should I do?

A:

Mammograms are advised annually. If you've had one in the past year, our Care Team will work with you to have this report sent to CurieMD. If you are due for one, your CurieMD physician / practitioner can order this for you, and you can bring the order to any imaging center.

Do imaging centers / blood testing laboratories accept insurance?

A:

While it is common for these facilities to accept most forms of insurance, it is best that you check with the facility directly to be sure that your mammogram and/or blood tests are covered by insurance. CurieMD does not process insurance claims on your behalf.

Hormone Therapy

What is hormone therapy?

A:

    • Hormone therapy can mean many things. At CurieMD, when we say hormone therapy, we mean the replacement of estrogen and progesterone after menopause. Around menopause, women’s estrogen and progesterone levels quickly drop to about 1% of the levels during reproductive-age years. This steep decline can lead to incredibly bothersome symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, skin changes, and memory disturbance. Treating with hormone therapy when appropriate can help many patients with these irritating and life-altering symptoms.

What is systemic hormone therapy?

A:

    • Systemic hormone therapy is designed to raise your body’s respective hormone levels (in this case estrogen and progesterone). Medication enters the bloodstream and circulates to reach all parts of the body.

Forms of systemic hormone therapy medication include:

      • Oral tablets
      • Skin patches
      • Skin creams and gels
      • Vaginal rings

What are the benefits of taking systemic hormone therapy? 

A:

    • The FDA has approved hormone therapy to be used to treat vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats), to prevent bone loss, to treat vaginal and urinary symptoms of menopause, and to treat the symptoms of surgical menopause (when the ovaries are surgically removed).
    • An expert panel of members of the North American Menopause Society reviewed all available research as of 2017 and found scientific evidence that systemic hormone therapy treats vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats); prevents bone loss and fractures; decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes; may decrease the amount of abdominal (belly) fat that accumulates during the menopausal transition; improves insomnia; improves skin elasticity, thickness and collagen; increases lubrication, blood flow and sensation of vaginal tissues; reduces the risk of colon cancer; and decreases the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's disease when started within 10 years of menopause or before age 60.

Is systemic hormone therapy safe?

A:

    • For the majority of healthy young women between the ages of 40 and 60 who are experiencing menopausal symptoms, hormone therapy is extremely safe and beneficial.  

For patients who have a history of blood clots, experts agree that the risks and benefits of hormone therapy must be carefully weighed. Hormone therapy should not be used in women who have had a stroke or heart attack.  

Does estrogen hormone therapy cause breast cancer?

A:

As for the concern about breast cancer risk, the full answer is long and complicated. The short answer is that experts agree that the risk of breast cancer with hormone therapy is extremely low and that in the worst case scenario (the wrong patient group with the wrong hormone formulation), the increased risk is less than one in one thousand.

How is vaginal estrogen different from systemic hormone therapy?

A:

    • Unlike systemic hormone therapy, vaginal estradiol does not raise the body’s overall estrogen levels. As a result, vaginal estradiol has local benefits rather than full body benefits.
    •  

What are the benefits of vaginal estrogen? 

A:

An expert panel of members of the North American Menopause Society reviewed all available research as of 2017 and found scientific evidence that vaginal estrogen helps by decreasing urinary tract infections, relieving pain with sexual intercourse, decreasing the sensation of vaginal dryness, and by increasing lubrication, blood flow and sensation of vaginal tissues. Vaginal estrogen may also decrease urinary incontinence by increasing the number of blood vessels around the opening of the bladder.

Is vaginal estrogen safe?

A:

Vaginal estrogen is extremely safe. After menopause, most women will experience vaginal and/or urinary symptoms from the loss of hormones, and a discussion of the benefits of local estrogen with your physician / practitioner is encouraged.

What are Bioidentical Hormones and what are they made from?

A:

Bioidentical hormones are plant-derived hormones that are chemically similar to the hormones our bodies produce. To produce what we use for hormone replacement therapy, a chemical is extracted from yams or soybeans and then converted to micronized progesterone and estradiol in the laboratory.  

Symptoms

What are hot flashes?

A:

    • Hot flashes are described as an intense feeling of heat that often starts in the chest and radiates outward and is sometimes accompanied by actual sweating.

What are night sweats?

A:

    • Night sweats are hot flashes that occur at night and can be particularly intense - sometimes to the point of perspiration so much that you have to change sheets and pajamas.

Irritability and feeling blue

A:

    • Mood changes are a known result of the decline in hormones during menopause. Some women describe feeling anxious and irritable. Their loved ones note them being a little more short-tempered. Some women feel it more as a sense of the blues, where they have trouble getting motivated to do the things they used to enjoy.

Decreased libido

A:

    • This symptom is certainly multifactorial in women - meaning it is affected by hormones, sleep quality, family situation, relationship status, stress, etc. If your libido starts to decline in your mid 40s to mid 50s - when hormones decline - it’s quite possible this is due to menopause. If you never had much of a libido, then menopause is not likely the culprit.  

Increasing belly fat

A:

  • Even if your weight has gone up much on the scale, you may notice that you’re losing some of your hourglass figure. Body fat starts to accumulate around the waist after menopause, and estrogen therapy has been shown to mitigate this to some degree.

Vaginal dryness

A:

    • The decrease in estrogen can lead to dryness and discomfort, sometimes described as just an “awareness” of the vagina.
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Pain with sexual intercourse

A:

  • The decline in estrogen causes thinning of vaginal tissues and decreased lubrication during intimacy which can lead to discomfort or even pain with intercourse.

Brain fog and trouble with memory

A:

  • These symptoms, while mild in most cases, can be incredibly frustrating to women who run their households and businesses. Who has time to forget a co-worker’s name or where the blender is? Women are naturally multitaskers, which requires a lot of RAM. When any fogginess creeps in, it can slow women down. Of course sleeplessness and other factors can contribute to this. For women who are sensitive to declines in estrogen, replacing it can clear that fog right up.

Fine wrinkles and thinning of the skin

A:

  • Aging and sun damage are the biggest factors with skin changes through the decades, but the decline in estrogen also exacerbates this. Studies show a very nice benefit of estrogen on skin tone and fine wrinkles. We have a full blog on this.

We’re here for you.

No matter what questions you may have, remember CurieMD is here to help as you transition into the next stage of your life.

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