New research led by Prof. Susan Davis from Monash University in Australia highlights the lack of effective treatment for menopausal symptoms in women, partly due to widespread misinformation. The study calls for more personalized treatment plans to address the diverse physical and mental symptoms experienced during menopause.
The study cites the adverse effects reported from the landmark 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study on menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), which led to a fear that “hormones are dangerous” and subsequently resulted in menopause treatment being sidelined. However, there has been a resurgence of interest in menopause treatment in recent years.
According to the research, over 85% of women in high-income countries do not receive effective, regulator-approved treatment for their menopausal symptoms. The symptoms of menopause can significantly impact women’s quality of life, including sleep deprivation from hot flushes and night sweats, anxiety, lack of confidence, and vaginal dryness.
The study emphasizes that many of these symptoms are treatable, but women often do not receive appropriate therapy. In some cases, hormone therapy is inappropriately prescribed when other treatments, such as managing blood pressure and cholesterol, would be more suitable.
The persistence of misinformation around menopausal hormone therapy has led to ineffective therapies being advised. The most effective treatment for bothersome menopausal symptoms is evidence-based menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), which can reduce bone loss and potentially have cardiometabolic benefits.
While only 30% of women going through menopause experience moderate to severe symptoms, there can be silent changes in the body, such as bone density loss. The research highlights the need for more personalized and evidence-based approaches to menopause treatment to improve women’s overall health and well-being during this life stage.