Progesterone offers menopause alternative

A new study from the University of British Columbia has found that progesterone treatment can help to reduce the severity of some menopause symptoms.

Conventionally, hot flushes and night sweats are treated with oestrogen, but recent reports have linked prolonged exposure to additional amounts of the hormone to an increased risk of stroke and cancer.

"There are certainly some people for whom oestrogen is not an appropriate therapy and other people who wish to avoid it for other reasons. And progesterone offers a choice," Christine Hitchcock, lead author of the research, told Reuters Health.

During the tests, women who took progesterone reduced their average of seven night sweats or hot flushes a day to just four after 12 weeks of taking three 100mg tablets a day.

Also, on a scale from one to four, women recorded their symptoms to be 0.6 points less severe by the end of the trial period - a fall from 2.6 to 2.0.