Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve menopausal symptoms has been increasingly discredited, while alternative therapies enjoy growing popularity.
According to the report published in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Womens HealthSource, there is much doubt about the effectiveness of HRT.
Doctors prescribed it until the 1990s to relieve menopause systems, prevent heart disease and osteoporosis. However, a 2002 study found that older women using the therapy had a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and blood clots.
The review also notes there is no evidence that substitutes in the form of bioidentical hormones made from plant sources and chemically processed to be identical to hormones made in the body are in fact safer.
Therefore “it should be assumed that bioidentical hormones have the same risks as conventional therapy,” it says.
Meanwhile, health practitioners have suggested that diet, exercise and nutritional supplements as well as massages and reflexology treatments may minimize unpleasant symptoms including hot flashes, headaches, insomnia, weight gain or fatigue associated with menopause.