“Not all women want treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause, but treatments are available if you find the symptoms particularly troublesome”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Treatment Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Menopause Medications/Medicines/Therapies/Treatments
  • Menopause Symptom Medications/Medicines/Therapies/Treatments
  • Menopause Therapy Choices/Options
  • Menopause Treatment Choices/Options

Symptoms

How many women have menopause symptoms?

On page one in Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

“Many women experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other physical changes with menopause. For some women, the symptoms are mild and do not require any treatment. For others, symptoms are moderate or severe and interfere with daily activities”.2

Different Differences

Is menopause treatment one-size-fits-all?

In Menopause Management the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

“Many women cope with mild menopausal symptoms and don’t need to take any medication or use therapies. Some women manage their symptoms well with lifestyle measures such as eating well and getting regular physical activity. Other women with symptoms that are affecting their quality of life will need to seek treatment to help them manage their symptoms”.3

In Menopause: Treatment the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“Not all women want treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause, but treatments are available if you find the symptoms particularly troublesome”.4

Scientific Research

Are all menopause treatments well supported by valid scientific research?

The JH explain:

Menopause Treatment“Some treatments are well supported by valid scientific research; others have less evidence to support their use. It is important to have accurate and reliable information before you start any treatment”.5

Treatments

What are some menopause treatments?

In Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Menopause requires no medical treatment. Instead, treatments focus on relieving your signs and symptoms and preventing or managing chronic conditions that may occur with aging. Treatments may include:

  • Hormone Therapy…
  • Vaginal Estrogen…
  • Low-Dose Antidepressants…
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Others)…
  • Clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay, Others)…
  • Medications to prevent or treat osteoporosis…”.6

Hormone Therapy

How effective is hormone therapy (HT) for the treatment of menopause symptoms?

On page one in Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits the NAMS explain:

“Hormone therapy is one of the most effective treatments available for bothersome hot flashes and night sweats. If night sweats are waking you throughout the night, HT may improve sleep and fatigue, mood, ability to concentrate, and overall quality of life. Treatment of bothersome hot flashes and night sweats is the principal reason women use HT. Hormone therapy also treats vaginal dryness and painful sex associated with menopause. Hormone therapy keeps your bones strong by preserving bone density and decreasing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. If preserving bone density is your only concern, and you do not have bothersome hot flashes, other treatments may be recommended instead of HT”.7

Hormone Therapy Risks

Is hormone therapy (HT) an effective treatment for menopause symptoms?

On page one in the NAMS 2017 Position Statement Updates Guidelines for Hormone Therapy Use: Hormone Therapy Remains the Most Effective Treatment for Hot Flashes and Other Troublesome Menopause Symptoms, Regardless of A Woman’s Age the NAMS elaborate on:

  • “The risks of HT differ for different women, depending on type, dose, duration of use, route of administration, timing of initiation, and whether a progestogen is needed. Treatment should be individualized using the best available evidence to maximize benefits and minimize risks, with periodic reevaluation for the benefits and risks of HT continuation
  • For women aged younger than 60 years or who are within 10 years of menopause onset and have no contraindications, the benefit-risk ratio appears favorable for treatment of bothersome hot flashes and for those at elevated risk of bone loss or fracture. Longer duration may be more favorable for estrogen-alone therapy than for estrogen-progestogen therapy, based on the Women’s Health Initiative randomized, controlled trials”.8

Bioidentical Hormones

Are bioidentical hormones or compounded hormones, an effective treatment for menopause symptoms?

In More Women Are Seeking and Receiving Compounded Hormones posted on the NAM’s MenoPause Blog, 12 October 2015, the author elaborates on:

“A NAMS-conducted survey of 3,700 US women aged 40 to 84 years found that about a third of those who use hormone therapy (HT) at menopause are using compounded hormones. There is a common and mistaken belief that compounded hormones are safer and offer more benefits than FDA-approved therapies”.9

What is FDA?

FDA can be an abbreviation for the (United States) Food and Drug Administration.

In More Women Are Seeking and Receiving Compounded Hormones the author also notes:

“Adverse effects of hormone therapy were not common among the survey respondents, but the women who used compounded HT reported higher rates of vaginal bleeding and acne than women who used FDA-approved hormones, and four women who used compounded hormones reported that they had endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining), whereas none who used FDA-approved hormones reported a case”.10

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016 is:

  • “The use of custom-compounded hormone therapy is not recommended because of lack of regulation, rigorous safety and efficacy testing, batch standardization, and purity measures”.11

Complementary and Integrative Health

Is complementary and integrative health an effective treatment for menopause symptoms?

According to the JH:

“Many women are keen to explore non-medical options to manage their menopausal symptoms. There is increasing evidence looking at the effectiveness of many of these treatments, but very few studies meet the gold standard of research. Some of these treatments are traditional remedies that have been used for many years, but may not have scientific research to support their use. More research on the effectiveness and safety of herbal therapies for menopause is needed”.12

In Hot Flash Relief Without Hormones about the nonhormonal management of hot flushes/flashes, posted on the NAMS’s MenoPause Blog, 24 September 2015, the author elaborates on:

“The NAMS panel found solid evidence that a few therapies do work, including two behavioral approaches (a combination behavioral approach and clinical hypnosis) and certain nonhormonal prescription medications. Other lifestyle and behavioral approaches, treatments, and a supplement under study (S-equol) look beneficial, but the evidence is not as strong”.13

In Nonhormonal Management of Menopause-Associated Vasomotor Symptoms: 2015 Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society – Abstract: Results the NAMS elaborate on:

“Nonhormonal therapies include lifestyle changes, mind-body techniques, dietary management and supplements, prescription therapies, and others. The costs, time, and effort involved as well as adverse effects, lack of long-term studies, and potential interactions with medications all need to be carefully weighed against potential effectiveness during decision making”.14

The JH explain:

“To make an informed choice about a treatment for menopausal symptoms, it is important to do some reading, from reputable sources of information, about treatments you are considering. Some promoted remedies can be expensive and unproven. Jean Hailes aims to provide the best available information based on current evidence”.15

The JH also note:

“It is also important to see a qualified practitioner for advice, and to give all the health professionals you are seeing information about any medications or treatments you are taking or receiving, as there can be interactions”.16

Treatment Review

How often should menopause treatments be reviewed?

In the NICE Guideline Menopause: Diagnosis and Management – Information for the Public: Reviewing Your Care published in November 2015, the NICE elaborate on:

“You may be having different treatments or therapies to help your menopausal symptoms. To see whether treatment is helping you should be offered review appointments every 3 months to start with. If you are not having any problems you should then have appointments once a year. You should be offered an earlier review if you need it, for example if treatment no longer seems to be working or is causing side effects. It is also important to keep going to all your routine health screening appointments (for example, breast and cervical screening)”.17

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with menopause treatments?

If you would like help with menopause treatments, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The JH explain:

“Depending on your symptoms, you may like to see a general practitioner, gynaecologist, and or endocrinologist (hormone specialist), registered naturopath, psychologist or dietitian”.18

The Mayo Clinic also encourage us to seek help:

“Before deciding on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor about your options and the risks and benefits involved with each. Review your options yearly, as your needs and treatment options may change”.19

The NHS note:

“It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age”.20

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Menopause Treatment?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Menopause Treatment?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Menopause: Treatment. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/treatment/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  2. Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use. 2017:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/for-women/menonote-deciding-about-ht-2017.pdf Accessed: 28 April 2020
  3. Menopause Management. Last Updated: 07 April 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  4. Menopause: Treatment. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/treatment/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  5. Menopause Management. Last Updated: 07 April 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  6. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 28 April 2020
  7. Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits. 2017:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/for-women/menonote-deciding-about-ht-2017.pdf Accessed: 28 April 2020
  8. NAMS 2017 Position Statement Updates Guidelines for Hormone Therapy Use. 20 June 2017:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/ht-press-release-061917.pdf Accessed: 28 April 2020
  9. Utian, W. More Women Are Seeking and Receiving Compounded Hormones. 12 October 2015.  https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2015/10/12/more-women-are-seeking-and-receiving-compounded-hormones Accessed: 28 April 2020
  10. Utian, W. More Women Are Seeking and Receiving Compounded Hormones. 12 October 2015.  https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2015/10/12/more-women-are-seeking-and-receiving-compounded-hormones Accessed: 28 April 2020
  11. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D. D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/fd28270c02bdca95a58a471e1719e9b4.pdf Accessed: 28 April 2020
  12. Menopause Management: Natural & Complementary Therapies. Last Updated: 07 April 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  13. Utian, W. Hot Flash Relief Without Hormones. 24 September 2015.  https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2015/09/24/hot-flash-relief-without-hormones Accessed: 28 April 2020
  14. Nonhormonal Management of Menopause-Associated Vasomotor Symptoms: 2015 Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society – Abstract: Results. Menopause, Vol. 22, No 11, 2015:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/pap-pdf-meno-d-15-00241-minus-trim-cme.pdf Accessed: 28 April 2020
  15. Menopause Management: Natural & Complementary Therapies. Last Updated: 07 April 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  16. Menopause Management: Natural & Complementary Therapies. Last Updated: 07 April 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 28 April 2020
  17. Menopause: Diagnosis and Management – Information for the Public: Reviewing Your Care. NICE Guidelines [NG23]. Published Date: 12 November 2015. Last Updated: 05 December 2020. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG23/ifp/chapter/Reviewing-your-care Accessed: 28 April 2020
  18. Menopause: What Can You Do To Help With Menopause? Updated September 2018:2. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Menopause.pdf Accessed: 28 April 2020
  19. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 28 April 2020
  20. Menopause: Overview – When To See Your GP. Page Last Reviewed: 29 September 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/#when-to-see-your-gp Accessed: 28 April 2020
Topic Last Updated: 21 May 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 28 April 2020
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