The most effective treatment for menopause symptoms is hormone therapy. However, there are many other treatment options available, which are less proven. Postmenopausal women tend to opt for these less proven treatments rather than opting for hormone therapy, reveals a new study.
A new study demonstrates, however, that women remain skeptical regarding the safety of hormone therapy and prefer less proven options. The study results are presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
Hot flashes (including night sweats) occur in up to 75 to 80 percent of all women in the US with some of them considered debilitating and lasting for many years after the end of menstrual cycles.
This was one of the first studies to examine women's beliefs and attitudes toward menopause in general and hormone therapy specifically.
Among the many findings, the survey results showed that participants were significantly less willing to use hormones for hot flashes and instead used exercise, diet, herbal supplements, acupuncture, or meditation. This was despite the fact that participants strongly agreed that hormone therapy could effectively reduce hot flashes.
"Our findings suggest that women are less willing to use the most empirically validated treatment for hot flashes than other alternative treatment options," says Dr. Terry Gibbs, lead author of the study from Promedica Physicians in Sylvania, Ohio.
"Also, their confidence in successful treatment outcomes was not greater for hormone therapy than the other options."
"This study tells us that there remains an unmet need to educate women about the safety and effectiveness of hormone therapy for most symptomatic women. The benefits go beyond the relief of hot flashes and include improvement in night sweats, sleep disruption, prevention of bone loss, and fewer heart events," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director.
Drs. Gibbs and Pinkerton are available for interviews before the presentation at the Annual Meeting.