Seeking an ObGyn for Menopause

Parent Q&A

OB/Gyn at Richmond or Oakland Kaiser Mar 19, 2021 (1 responses below)
Seeking MD for Menopause/HRT (non-Kaiser) Jan 4, 2020 (2 responses below)
Menopause - doctor recommendations Jan 1, 2019 (4 responses below)
Early menopause: can anyone recommend a doctor? Aug 8, 2018 (4 responses below)
Health practitioner familiar with Hormone Replacement Therapy Jan 16, 2018 (1 responses below)
  • OB/Gyn at Richmond or Oakland Kaiser

    (1 reply)

    I am having issues with menopause.  i'm wondering whether anyone has a recommendation for an Ob/Gyn at either Oakland or Richmond Kaiser who's really good with menopause?  I'm really thinking that mine isn't working for me.

    I love my OB/GYN in Oakland, Dr. Jung. Excitingly, she is relocating her practice to the new KP Berkeley site in May so her panel, which NEVER has space, probably will have some openings in April and May as people who want to stay in Oakland reassign themselves. I am on the cusp of menopause myself so I can't speak to how she is specifically for that, but she has been wonderful at all the life stages up til now and I have every confidence in her.

  • Seeking MD for Menopause/HRT (non-Kaiser)

    (2 replies)


    I am a 51 year old woman going through perimenopause. I am noticing some cognitive decline, and want to talk to a dr about doing HRT. I have Blue Shield PPO. Would prefer East Bay or SF location. Thanks!


    I'm in the same boat, and have been told that I have a couple complicating factors that really require someone who specializes in this area vs. a general Ob/gyn.  The only referral I've received in the Easy Bay is Risa Kagan, but when I called to make an appointment I was told by her staff that she's not accepting new patients and phasing out her practice due to impending retirement.  Thank you for posting and hopefully someone has suggestions.

    Pacific Women Ob/Gyn Group in SF.

  • Menopause - doctor recommendations

    (4 replies)

    I am 42 years old and am heading into early menopause. I am looking for a recommendation for a medical doctor (Cigna) to work with me to improve my symptoms. Maybe a reproductive endocrinologist or an Obgyn. I’m also open to alternative treatment recommendations but I want a medical doctor to work with as well. My symptoms are exhaustion, irritability, and food cravings. The space between my periods has ranged from 6 months to 2 weeks within the past year. Basically I feel like I have PMS all the time. I got this diagnosis from my primary care doctor and she recommended a sleep study for my exhaustion prior to making any plans to relieve the menopause symptoms. I have already seen a sleep specialist and she thinks a sleep problem is very unlikely to be the cause of these issues and so do I. I recently moved from Brooklyn so the primary care doctor is new to me, and I won’t be able to see her again until mid-January.  If anyone has gone through something similar I would appreciate any recommendations. Thank you!

    I am 10 years older than you, and I've been through this already! To share my experience, I just went to a regular nurse practitioner with whom I discussed my symptoms, but none of my symptoms were particularly bothersome, leading to your openess to "alternative treatment recommendations."  I believe I did not have problems with menopause (I felt different, but nothing was really problematic), because I slept 8 good hours every night, ate mostly healthfully, exercised three days per week plus walking every day, and kept my stress down by not being afraid to decline commitments to my time that I didn't have time for. If I didn't stay firm to this lifestyle, I would probably have your symptoms whether in menopause or not. Best of luck to you!

    This helped me:

    Evening primrose oil; red raspberry leaf tea; extra B vitamins; a good antidepressant (response to prescriptions varies from person to person, so you may have to try more than 1 medication).

    For sleep, I sometimes find a mini-dose of Trazadone helpful.

    I have seen a Functional Medicine Osteopath to treat hormonal issues (PMS).  She is out of network and has an office in Marin but can do video sessions after the first session.  Functional Medicine requires a lot of testing and supplementation.  It has been helpful for me.

    Her name is Stephanie Daniel, DO.

  • Hello, I recently turned 40 and my ob/gyn has diagnosed me with early menopause based on symptoms and blood testing.  My hormones are clearly unbalanced, possibly as a result of doing many unsuccessful cycles of IVF in my late 30s.  I am having rare but excruciatingly painful periods, chronic insomnia, hair loss, hot flashes, and intense mood swings.  My ob/gyn is pushing hormone replacement therapy.  While I think very highly of him, I'm hesitant to start taking more drugs, as my body is still recovering from all of the fertility medications I took in the last five years.  Can anyone recommend a doctor for a second opinion?  I am already doing acupuncture and seeing a therapist, so I'm open to non-medical ways to manage this transition, but I'm searching for an endocrinologist, integrative doctor, or other specialist experienced with menopause who can advise me on whether a prescription for hormones is appropriate.  Thank you so much for any advice you can share. 

    Sara Gottfried has a book "the hormone book".   She is a Harvard trained MD but prefers holistic/lifestyle solutions.  I read her book which is great, and I understand and that she has a practice in Berkeley,   I am new to the area so I can't confirm that but she would be a great resource.

    I had the same problem at the age of 37. I saw dr. Marcelle Cedars at UCSF. She put me on HRT as the symptoms you are describing were unbearable for me. She is now my obgyn as well. I love the fact that she educated me with scientific data and all the pros and cons of my case and the route we were taking. Hang in there, things will get better once you figure out how to deal with this. 

    Just wanted to say that I was in exactly the same boat -- a couple years of meds for a DE IVF cycle at age 43, after being diagnosed with early meno at age 38, just before giving birth naturally (my last egg!).  It took me years to finally try hormone replacement therapy, but it changed my life -- 100% for the better.  No more hot flashes, no more sleep disruptions, just me feeling like me.  I know it sounds daunting, but it normalized me like nothing else, and I tried acupuncture, herbs, and diet changes before HRT.  I know you will find your way, and maybe it will be a different path, but I am still on HRT 10 years later and couldn't be happier I went this route.

  • Hi, I wish to go on HRT and would like to see a practitioner ( preferably in the East Bay) who is well informed about this therapy. I have a Blue Shield PPO coverage. If you like your practitioner , please share their contact info. Also, if possible, tell me about how the therapy has helped you with your menopausal symptoms. I am aware of the controversy surrounding the possible side effects of the therapy ( increased risk of stroke, heart attack, ...), and am also well read regarding the newer research that has found for recently menopausal women the therapy can be helpful and without bad side effects. Therefore, I hope to get answers about who to see and your own personal experience (before and after the therapy). Thank you.

    I took HRT for several years and I don't think you will have any trouble finding an Ob/Gyn who can support you in this. My experience with several local Ob/Gyn practices is they do keep up to date with the research. Just pick a practice you like. I got my original prescription at one of the big practices in Berkeley. Sorry I don't remember which doc, but she was very well versed and explained that the research findings were based on POST-menopausal women who were looking to HRT as a way to protect heart health. At the time, that was a trend. The study with the scary results was not about perimenopausal women like me trying to get through a few years of hot flashes.  My doc told me the risk was small, even though I have high blood pressure (controlled by meds). I went on HRT because my symptoms were interfering with my job. I would be sitting in a meeting (with a bunch of men bc I work in a male-dominated industry) and suddenly I'd be on fire, gasping for air, pulling off my jacket, my face bright red, sweat breaking out, etc. It was awful.  Sometimes my male boss would ask me "Everything OK?" which was embarrassing, since I really didn't want to discuss it with him, but I'm sure he must have been alarmed. I also stopped sleeping well at night because of all the hot flashes. The HRT totally removed these horrible events. It really was a miracle. I stayed on HRT for 4 years or so, during which time I switched to Kaiser, where I also found my ObGyn there to be very supportive and reassuring. Ask your doctor! 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


BHRT Specialist for Menopause, MD or PAC

May 2011

My 60-ish mother recently relocated to the Bay Area from the Denver suburbs where she was seeing a nurse practitioner regarding managing menopause with bio identical hormone therapy. Since moving, she just hasn't been able to find a provider who is knowledgeable and supportive of BHRT. Any recommendations, preferably for a female practitioner in the Alameda/Oakland/Berkeley area, would be much appreciated. Hormonal in Alameda

I would contact the Gottfried Center for Integrative Medicine in Oakland. Sarah Gottfried specializes in menopause. She has completely turned my life around. Good luck. Grateful

Gyn who specializes in bioidentical hormones?

Jan 2011

My gyn basically dismissed my request for bioidentical hormones, saying the difference was like buying a designer dress or one off the rack; they are both the same at the end of the day. I disagree, and I'd like to find a more sympathetic doctor who is knowledgeable on the subject. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good gyn, preferably one who takes Blue Cross HMO and is an expert on working with you during perimenopause to find a good hormonal solution? Tired of the hot flashing

Dr. Sara Gottfried in Oakland. She is excellent and knows ALL about bioidentical hormones, perimenopause and menopause. Not sure about insurance as I pay out of pocket, but it is COMPLETELY worth it. (I had chronic insomnia, sweats, awful mood swings and heart palpitations. Kaiser's answer for me was birth control pills.) May take awhile to get an apointment so call soon. ~~ Balanced

I highly recommend Dr. Sondra Altman in Walnut Creek, aka the Menopause Maven. She is an incredibly skilled and kind gynecologist who specializes in menopause and perimenopause. I found that many doctors who advertise that they prescribe bioidentical hormones or do ''antiaging'' medicine charge a fortune, and there are many excellent types of bioidentical hormone therapy that are FDA approved. Dr. Altman is very reasonable (in fees and attitude) and will really listen to you and work with you to find the best solution. We had to try a few different types of hormone therapy to find the best type for me, but I'm so glad I found her and I feel so much better. Got my mojo back

Female gynecologist for over-40 women

Jan 2011

I'm looking for a female Gynecologist NOT an OB/GYN unless all GYNs do both(?) in the East Bay or SF to deal with typical issues of an over 40 yr old woman (who has had children) anon

Try Risa Kagan , M.D., in Berkeley. She specializes in issues related to perimenopause & menopause and no longer delivers babies. Leslie

Post-menopause, seeking new female gyn

Oct 2008

My current gyn is about to retire. I have a complicated gyn history and am looking for an outstanding female gyn with medical expertise AND a thoughtful and caring bedside manner. I am preparing to have a D and may need surgery after that. I also have a bicornuate uterus. The more recent your experience, the better. In Need

I highly recommend Dr. Risa Kagan of the East Bay Physicians Med. Group. After 2 high risk ''later in life'' pregnancies,I started to experience some'' uncomfortable'' changes with my body for almost 2 years.My Internist ordered tests ranging from hormone tests to ultrasounds all with normal results. I was frustrated! Dr. Kagan resolved my issues in my first visit with her! She is a straight forward,no nonsense,doctor who is extremely knowledgeable with women who are perimenopausal and menopausal. Dr.Kagan is located in Berkeley. Phone #(510)204-8190 Denise

Katarina Lanner-Cusin, M. D. of Berkeley and UCSF and Marilyn Honegger, M.D. of Berkeley and Orinda are fabulous. Hopefully you could get in to see one or both. Dr. Honegger is my gyn, and a great diagnostician who is much in demand for surgery. Kararina performed surgery on my grown daughter, who flew back here from a job in Hawaii for the surgery because there was no one as good there. You might research their specific areas of surgical expertise, if you can. Both are also wonderful people, by the way. Best of luck. Judy

OBGYN for menopause symptom management

May 2005

I am looking for a recommendation for an OBGYN or MD (preferably berkeley/oakland area) who can provide advice and support on managing menopause symptoms. I have had menopausal-related depression and also formication (which is not nearly as fun as it sounds - excessive itching and the sensation that bugs are crawling over your body! really!!!) I have Healthnet Insurance. Thanks, anon

Recommended:  Arzou Ahsan


Ob/Gyn for menopause

May 2004

Hello, I have looked thru the archives to see if I could find anything about this but didn't see any info. I am a 50 year old woman who is still getting my period but getting alot of periomenopausal symptoms. I am looking for a OB/GYN who is very knowledgeable about alternative hormonal therapies; bio- identicals or ''Natural'' hormone therapy. If anyone knows of someone who fills this request please recommend. Thank you.


Risa Kagan (ObGyn Fertility Group)

Other advice

I know you requested an OB/GYN specifically, but it occurs to me that a medically trained person may know medicine and/or pharmaceuticals best (or only). I get all my GYN care from homeopath Christine Ciavarella at the Hahnemann Medical Clinic, 524-3117, in Albany. As well as doing Pap smears, she treats me as a whole person, hot flashes, insomnia, forgetfulness, and all! I also see Dr.Sada Anand Miller, a chiropractor in downtown Oakland, 208-3224, who knows a lot about Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements that really helped with the above symptoms. May I remind you that these days, OB/GYN docs are mainly (merely) surgeons? Good luck. Bonnie

ObGyn for Over 40

August 2003

I'm in my 40s, and am starting to have the first symptoms of peri-menopause. At least I think that's what happening. My ob/gyn recently left the area, and for my well-woman visit this year I saw one of the new doctors in the practice. She was fine, but, well, so dewey-fresh and I felt a little like asking for a guided tour of a mysterious place from someone who had never been there. All her answers felt rather text-book. Can anyone recommend a woman ob/gyn who is over 40 and can be a good guide for this difficult landscape? feeling a little lost

Recommendations received: