Communication ‘key to managing menopause’

New research has found that women frequently use alternative treatments to manage their menopause symptoms but often do not inform their doctors about them.

The study has been performed by University of Delaware, US, anthropology student Dunia Tonob and associate professor of anthropology Melissa Melby.

In the collaboration with Dr Melby, Ms Tonob conducted a literature review - collecting, assessing and synthesising published information on menopause and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

The researchers looked at three treatments considered complementary or alternative: natural products, such as herbal or soy remedies; mind-body practices, including yoga and meditation; and traditional Chinese and Japanese (Kampo) medicine.

Dr Melby said that menopausal women “use alternative medicine at very high rates”. This is often because they don't feel that biomedical treatments have been helpful or that these treatments are too aggressive. She added that in turn, doctors can often seem dismissive of CAM and quick to label any benefits a woman experiences as a placebo effect.

The researchers hope the new study will raise awareness among healthcare providers about the use of CAM and open lines of communication with their patients.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801833366-ADNFCR