Frequently Asked Questions
Before contacting the clinic, you may want to have a read of the questions we get asked most frequently and be aware of this information before contacting us or booking a consultation.
If your question is not answered below and you have referred to the wealth of material available on our balance website, please feel free to submit your query via the patient contact page. If you are not a patient of ours please refer to the balance website.
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How do I book a consultation?
To book a new or follow up consultation, please visit our book appointment page.
Can I have a telephone or video consultation?
We offer telephone and video consultations as well as face to face appointments in our clinic in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bournemouth, Southampton and London. Telephone and video consultations are charged at the same price as face-to-face consultations.
We are unfortunately unable to offer telephone or video consultations to patients living or visiting from overseas due to restrictions in our insurance . All our overseas patients must be seen in our clinic in the UK for their initial appointment. This does not apply to those from the US or Canada who cannot register with us as a patient.
Do I need a referral letter from my GP?
You do not need a GP or another doctor’s referral letter to be seen in our clinic. The majority of women self-refer and do not need a letter.
If you have any blood test results or letters from previous relevant medical consultations, then it is useful to bring copies of these with you when you attend for your appointment or email or complete the online form here ahead of your appointment.
Do you prescribe bioidentical HRT?
The safest types of HRT are “body identical hormones” which means that they are the same structure as the hormones you naturally produce in your body. These hormones are also sometimes referred to as “regulated bioidentical HRT”.
There are some types of hormones given in private clinics called “compounded bioidentical hormones”. These are completely different to body identical hormones – they are not regulated and are not subject to any quality control. They are custom made hormones in combination doses or preparations that are not routinely available on a standard prescription.
There is no good quality evidence to support the use of these hormones and they are not recommended. In addition, they have not been subjected to the same tests of safety, efficacy, or dosing consistency as the type of HRT that requires a prescription, including body identical hormones. We do not ever give women compounded bioidentical HRT.
Can I have a coil inserted in the clinic?
We are pleased to offer coil fittings by an experienced, fully-trained doctor at our Stratford-upon-Avon clinic. We offer both hormonal and copper coil fittings.
Do you prescribe testosterone?
Testosterone is an important hormone for many women as well as for men. Many women find that using testosterone can improve their libido as well as their mood, energy and concentration. There is not currently a licensed preparation of testosterone available for women in the UK.
In this clinic we usually prescribe testosterone as a cream called AndroFeme which is a regulated preparation for women which is actually now licensed for women in Australia. This is the safest way of women receiving testosterone. Women who need testosterone can have a private prescription from one of the clinicians in our clinic.
Do you see patients from overseas?
How can I obtain more information about the menopause?
How do I contact the clinic with any queries I have following my appointment?
It is usually preferable to email rather than phone with any questions you may have following your appointment. Please complete the online form here. If you would like to speak to one of our clinicians in between your scheduled appointments for some clinical advice, then please call us on 01789 595004 and our team can book you a 10 minute advice phone call with a pharmacist or nurse (£50)
How do I receive the results of any blood tests I have?
All our blood testing is done by Nationwide Pathology. As soon as your results are available they will be reviewed and commented on by one of our clinicians. You will then receive an email asking you to log onto the system so that you will be able to access your results and also the clinician's comments.
How much are blood tests and other investigations?
Blood tests are not necessary to diagnose the perimenopause and menopause for most women. However, we often recommend blood test to assess hormone levels which can guide treatment. Blood tests are also sometimes recommended as part of a well woman check or to assess other systems, for example thyroid function tests.
Our women’s health profile (which includes full blood count, kidney function, liver function, thyroid tests, vitamin D level, iron level, vitamin B12 and folate levels, cholesterol and hormone levels) costs £285.
Blood test results and other test results submitted by a different clinic or by a GP may be reviewed only if you are unable to use our preferred pathology lab.
Prices for other recommended investigations for some women, such as a bone density scan or ultrasound, can be given on request.
|Name of Profile||Blood Tests||Cost*|
|Newson Health 1||FBC, Kidney Function, Liver Function, Lipids, Ferritin, Thyroid function, HbA1c, Oestradiol, Testosterone, SHBG, Vitamin B12, Folate, Vitamin D.||£285|
|Newson Health 2||Oestradiol, SHBG, Testosterone||£115|
|Newson Health 3||SHBG, Testosterone||£85|
|Newson Health 4||Oestradiol, SHBG, Testosterone, Thyroid Function (including T4 and T3)||£155|
|Newson Health 5||Thyroid function (TSH, T4 and T3)||£105|
|Cost for using a satellite phlebotomy clinic||From £35|
*We reserve the right to change any of our advertised prices without prior notice.
How long does a consultation last?
Your first consultation can last up to 45 minutes, with follow-up consultations lasting up to 25 minutes. This usually provides sufficient time for women to explain their situation and be given individual, specialist advice and choices regarding their treatment, including HRT.
How long does it take for HRT to work?
Women really vary with how they respond once they start HRT. Some women find they feel better quickly whereas for other women it can take three months to feel the full effects. It is worth persevering with any treatment you are given for three months before deciding how it suits you.
Some women do develop breast tenderness initially which often settles. Some women do experience some bleeding which usually settles within the first few months.
If you are still experiencing symptoms after three months then it may be that the dose or type of HRT needs to be changed.
Will I be given HRT?
Although the majority of women usually benefit from taking a type of Hormone Replacement Therapy, this is only one part of treatment for the menopause. Some women choose not to take HRT or cannot take HRT due to medical reasons and so there are alternative treatments available. These will be discussed on an individual basis.
What are the benefits and risks of HRT?
Clinicians often talk about the relative risks and benefits of HRT – but what do the numbers actually mean?
And what are the benefits of using transdermal oestrogen and body identical progesterone compared with the more old-fashioned HRT formulations (oral oestrogen and synthetic progestogens)?
We have created two visual aids to help you understand the long-term risks and benefits of HRT. These aids can be downloaded and printed and used by clinicians in consultations to inform shared decision making based on the best, currently available evidence. The aids will be updated as and when new evidence comes to light.
Understanding the major long-term benefits of HRT covers the following topics:
- all-cause mortality
- coronary heart disease
Understanding the risks of HRT covers the following topics:
- breast cancer
- venous thrombosis (blood clots)
Click here to download the visual aids on the balance website
How much does a consultation cost?
How much will the HRT medication cost?
Women who are likely to benefit from taking HRT are usually given a private prescription for the first few months. The majority of women subsequently receive the HRT (other than the testosterone) from their GPs on an NHS prescription. Some women continue to have HRT as a private prescription from us.
Costs for a month's supply of HRT will vary depending on the type of medication prescribed. After your appointment, if your clinician has prescribed for you, you can speak to one of the team about the cost of your HRT.
In addition, a prescription dispensing fee of £37 will be charged for each prescription, regardless of the number of items on the prescription.
How often will I need to be seen?
The majority of women are seen again around three months after their initial appointment and their clinician will advise when to have any further follow ups. To obtain a prescription from us you will need to be seen annually. You will need to have an appointment every 2 years to remain as an existing patient. If you have not been seen in over 2 years you will be booked in as a new patient at the cost of a new appointment.
I am still having periods - can I still be seen in the menopause clinic?
The menopause occurs one year after a woman’s last menstrual period. Many women experience perimenopausal symptoms for several years before their periods stop. If you are experiencing perimenopausal symptoms which are having a negative impact on the quality of your life, then it is likely you will benefit by being given individualised advice and treatment from one of the clinicians in our clinic.
Is it normal to be bloated on HRT?
Some types of progestogens can lead to some bloating and lower abdominal discomfort. This usually settles within a few months. If you have symptoms that worsen or any symptoms you are concerned about then you should either contact us or your GP.
Is it normal to bleed on HRT?
It is very common for women to have irregular and even sometimes heavy bleeding when they start HRT or when they increase the dose of oestrogen in the HRT. This can take 3 to 6 months to settle.
If you have bleeding that worsens or does not improve after this time, then you should contact us at the clinic or your GP as further investigations may be necessary.
Is it normal to have sore breasts on HRT?
Some women experience breast tenderness when they start taking HRT. This can be due to either the oestrogen or progesterone and usually settles with time. It can take a few months to settle completely.
What correspondence will I receive from the clinic after my appointment?
The clinician will email you a letter, outlining what was said during the consultation, usually within 7-10 days. Your GP will also be emailed a copy of this letter, unless you have said you prefer for your GP not to be contacted.
You will also receive your blood results as an email with a comment from your clinician explaining what the results mean. This usually comes at a different time to your letter.
What is a DEXA scan and how do I book one?
We offer DEXA bone density scans here at Newson Health. During the perimenopause and menopause women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones), this is due to falling levels of oestrogen which helps to protect bone strength. A DEXA scan is a simple safe scan which a uses a low dose X-rays to see how dense (or strong) your bones are.
To book a scan call 01789 595004 or complete our online form here.
What qualifications do the doctors and nurses have?
All the clinicians working in the clinic have been trained as GPs, nurses or pharmacists and have a particular interest in the menopause. See all our clinicians and their qualifications here.
If your NHS GP or nurse works with us here at the clinic, you will not be able to book an appointment to see them privately. We will be happy to offer you an appointment with one of our other clinicians.
Where is my HRT prescription dispensed?
We work with the company CloudRx (a licensed Pharmacy GPhc number 9011284) to dispense and dispatch medication on our behalf. Following your video or phone consultation during which your medicine has been prescribed, CloudRx will contact you by email or text to take payment for the medication before it is posted to you.
Patients visiting us in the clinic will usually have their prescriptions dispensed from the clinic or a pharmacy nearby. Repeat prescriptions should be requested through the website and will be dispensed by Cloud Rx.
Will my medical insurance cover the cost of my consultation?
Treatment for the menopause is not covered by private medical insurance but it is always a good idea to check with your insurance company.
Where can I park?
For the Stratford-upon-Avon clinic the nearest street parking is Chestnut Walk CV37 6HG. Up to two hours and is a 2-minute walk from Winton House. Additional car parks are on Rother Street, CV37 6JP. 24 hours a 7-minute walk to Winton House. The largest car park is Bridgeway Multi Storey, CV37 6YX. 24 hours a 14 minute walk to Winton House. Please visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council website for information regarding other car parks in the area.
The nearest train station is at Stratford-upon-Avon Train Station. However, Warwick Parkway Train Station is often more convenient as trains are more frequent. This is around a 15-20 minute taxi ride away.
For the Bournemouth clinic there is free car parking on Poole Road outside the clinic, but it is limited to 1 hour. The nearest paid car parks are Milburn Road Car Park (directly behind the clinic), and Landseer Road Car Park, which is approximately 3 minutes’ walk away. Marks & Spencer also have a car park (approximately 5 minutes’ walk) and will refund the £1 charge for an hour, if you spend £5 in store. Alumhurst Road Car Park (approximately 8 minutes’ walk) is also nearby.
For the Manchester Alderley Edge Medical Centre there are parking spaces available for patients in the Medical Centre car park, but this can be very busy at times. Alternatively, there is free street parking available on neighbouring streets with bays for 30mins and others for 2 hours. There is also unrestricted parking on Heyes Lane and Davey Lane which is less than a 5-minute walk from the clinic. The nearest train station is Alderley Edge, which is a 5-minute walk from the clinic.
For the Manchester (Altrincham) Diagnostic Healthcare clinic there is free parking for patients outside of the clinic. The nearest train station is Altrincham station which is a 4-minute car journey or a 20 minute walk from Diagnostic Healthcare.
Does the clinic have wheelchair access?
All our clinics have different wheelchair accessibility. If you have any additional requirements, please let us know in advance by calling us on 01789 595004 and we will do our utmost to accommodate your needs.
- Stratford upon Avon - clinic rooms are located on the first floor which are accessible via a staircase
- Bournemouth - clinic rooms are located on the lower ground floor which are accessible via a staircase
- Chester - Chester Wellness Centre - clinic rooms are located on the first floor which are accessible via a staircase or lift
- Harrogate - Chester Wellness Centre - clinic rooms are located on the first floor which are accessible via a staircase or lift
- London - Wimpole Street - clinic rooms are located on the ground and lower ground floors which are accessible via a staircase or lift
- London - South Molton Street - clinic rooms are located on the second floor which are accessible via a staircase
- London - Portpool Lane - clinic rooms are located on the ground floor which are accessible via a staircase to enter the clinic
- Manchester - Alderley Edge Medical Centre - clinic rooms are located on the second floor which are accessible via a staircase or lift
- Manchester (Altrincham) - Diagnostic Healthcare - clinic rooms are located on the ground floor
- Southampton - clinic rooms are located on the first floor which are accessible via a staircase or lift
Consent to treatment
Newson Health clinicians obtain informed consent and ensure their patients have all the relevant information regarding any proposed treatment, including HRT, through a shared decision-making framework, via in-person consultations, hard copy and digital literature, as well as the free ‘balance’ app. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding their treatment is encouraged to contact their clinician. Patient consent can be verbal, written or non-verbal. You may find it helpful to refer to the published NHS guidance on consent for further information in this regard – see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/
Why are some patients prescribed higher doses of oestrogen than others?
Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre was founded in 2018 to help women receive treatment for their menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms. Many women come to our clinic because they have been refused help on the NHS and/or because the type of HRT they are receiving is insufficient to alleviate their symptoms.
At Newson Health, our patients are central to all treatment decisions. We usually start our patients with the minimal effective doses of hormones, then assess scope for any changes based on clinical response and patients’ views.
We follow NICE menopause guidelines, adhere to the General Medical Council’s decision making and consent guidelines, and NICE shared decision-making guidelines [1-3].
What is tachyphylaxis?
How to book a blood test
- Visit our clinic in Stratford-upon-Avon. There will be an additional £35 phlebotomy charge when visiting our Stratford Upon Avon clinic for blood tests. Please contact us to book this.
- Visit The Clinic @78 in Bournemouth. There will be an additional £40 phlebotomy charge when visiting Clinic @78 for blood tests. Please contact us to arrange this for you.
- We can arrange for a health care professional to visit you at home or an address of your choice to take a sample. Charges for this option include the cost of the blood test and £60 for the home visit.
- Contact us by phone to see if we can find a Nationwide Pathology phlebotomist near you. The costs, for this option, vary across the UK but are approximately £40, plus the cost of the blood test.
- Contact us to arrange for a kit to be sent in the post (which contains vials and needles, safely packaged) for you to find a phlebotomist near you. Charges for this option include the costs of the blood test, plus £15 delivery fee for the blood test kit. The kits are also a popular option for people who have medics in their friend group or family.