Menopausal women feel they do not get enough support from healthcare workers, a study shows.
Research published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found social support was the most common management strategy of menopausal symptoms, used by 60% of women.
While one third of women surveyed thought that their GP was ‘very supportive’, 34% felt it wasn’t enough.
Similarly, one fifth of women said they wanted more support from their spouse or partner.
The study showed women also preferred taking vitamins, minerals and supplements and herbal remedies rather than HRT.
Researchers analysed how over 4400 women aged 45 to 54 living in north east Scotland managed their menopausal symptoms.
Their questionnaire included a symptom checklist which asked about problems such as stiff joints, aches and pains, headaches, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, mood swings, decreased sexual interest and menstrual symptoms.
Almost half of the women (46.7%) experienced hot flushes, 46.4% night sweats and 28.2% vaginal dryness.
Around two-fifths of women reported these symptoms as ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely bothersome’.
Surgically menopausal women – those who had a hysterectomy - reported the greatest frequency of ‘bothersome’ symptoms.
Dr Lisa Iversen, Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen and co-author of the paper.
“Our results provide a powerful reminder that the menopause is a time of life when women experience numerous symptoms, many of which are bothersome,” said Dr Lisa Iversen, Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen and co-author of the study.
“We found that many women used non-medical approaches to help relieve the symptoms suggesting a large need for effective non-hormonal management options for menopausal women.”
Question: Why do most menopausal women prefer non-medical treatments?