Navigating menopause

Navigating menopause

A Monash University-led systematic review of menopause guidelines, published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, has provided clarity around menopause symptoms and how to best treat them when needed.


The following can be attributed to Professor Davis:

"Navigating menopause has become a hot topic amongst women and health care providers, and sourcing credible information is a challenge. Even journal papers and clinical guidelines often provide conflicting information. So, we formally appraised the quality, completeness and consistency of all published best practice guidelines on the menopause from the last 10 years. 

"We found that guidelines agree that the main symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are flushes and sweats, disturbed sleep, musculoskeletal pain, decreased sexual function or desire, and mood disturbance (low mood, mood changes or depressive symptoms).

"They also agree that menopausal hormone therapy can be prescribed for the treatment of bothersome flushes/sweats, mood disturbance, and vaginal symptoms (topical hormone therapy), and for the prevention of bone loss, but that it should not be used to treat clinical depression, cognitive symptoms or for the prevention of heart disease or dementia.

"Compounded hormones are seen as potentially unsafe. While hypnosis and cognitive behaviour therapy are recommended for menopausal symptoms, there are consistent warnings about the other complementary therapies being ineffective or unproven and around their safety.

"This work provides clarity for women and their clinicians with respect to consensus, uncertainty, and disagreement in menopause care, and identifies where further research is warranted." 


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