Hot flashes after menopause

According to a new study published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), 40 percent of women 60 to 65 years old still have hot flashes.  For many, the hot flashes are occasional and mild, but for some, they remain really troublesome.

The study, conducted in Australia, included 2 000 women 40 to 65 years old. More than 90% of them used no hormonal contraception, menopausal hormone therapy, or other prescription drugs.

Among these women, hot flashes persisted in 42 percent of the women 60 to 65 years old. Nearly 10 percent  of the 60- to 65-year-olds were using hormone therapy, presumably because they still had troublesome symptoms.

Hot flashes in the bedroom are not hot

Among the women who used no vaginal oestrogen, the rate of sexual symptoms (such as pain with intercourse) ranged from 44 percent in premenopause to 68 percent after menopause.

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Those sexual symptoms persisted in 62 percent of women 60 to 65 years old. Only eight percent of the older women overall were using vaginal oestrogen, despite the high rate of sexual symptoms.

What are women to do?

Today, most guidelines recommend against using systemic hormones for women more than 10 years after menopause or after age 60 and to use them only for a limited time – ideally three to five years. But that leaves a group of women older than age 60 who have really bothersome symptoms without a hormone therapy option.

The “disconnect” between guideline recommendations and real-world clinical practice and the low utilisation of effective non-hormonal therapies for hot flashes highlight that “menopause has gone ‘off the radar’ as an important health issue and remains undertreated,” say the authors.

“Women need to know that they do still have options to treat their hot flashes and sexual symptoms, even if they are older or cannot or do not wish to use hormone therapy,” says NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD. “NAMS encourages all women bothered by their menopause symptoms to seek the help they need and not to give up.”

Source: The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) via Sciencedaily

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