women’s mental health

What is S-Equol? Does It Really Work for Menopausal Symptoms?

Approximately 70% of all women experience hot flashes and/or night sweats (also called vasomotor symptoms or VMS) during the menopause transition.  Although estrogen-containing hormone therapy is highly effective in managing these symptoms, various studies have raised concerns regarding the risks associated with prolonged use of hormone therapy and many women now use other non-hormonal options to manage their symptoms, including over-the-counter complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs), including soy isoflavones, black cohosh, and omega-3 fatty acids.  However, the data regarding the effectiveness of these alternative treatments has been mixed.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Some Risk But No Impact on Mortality

While there are concerns regarding the risks associated with prolonged use of hormone replacement, an increasing number of studies suggest that the risk may be relatively low in certain settings.  A study presented this week at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting which analyzed data from 43 randomized clinical trials suggests that menopausal hormone-replacement therapy does not appear to affect mortality either positively or negatively.

Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms Last Longer than Five Years for Most Women

Up to 80% of women experience vasomotor symptoms (VMS) as they transition into the menopause phase. While clinical guidelines suggest that VMS typically last from 6 months to 2 years, we often see women with VMS lasting for a much longer period of time. To more accurately assess the duration of VMS in perimenopausal women, researchers analyzed data from 1449 women included in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), an observational study of women entering menopause.  Here is a summary of the key findings: