Menopause and “alternative” therapies

The recurring press chestnuts just keep rolling on and on, just as predictable as the four seasons.
It seems that medical efforts to classify menopause as a disease state have failed miserably.
Women are now seeking advice on other options from their medical practitioner.

However, because of poor training, poor understanding of what role menopause plays in women’s health, and more especially, the downside of quality of life that menopausal symptoms cause, the headlines have appeared that these “alternative” therapies don’t work.

Just as a poor tradesman blames his or her tools for shoddy work, these headlines don’t reflect the facts.

Monash University researchers blame GP’s. according to the medical newsletter called 6minutes. It seems that about one third of primary care doctors self-identify as practising complementary therapy.

ABC Health and Wellbeing newsletter blames the “unproven remedies”, but the researchers identify the real reason.

Why the biased reporting then?

HRT has issues, no matter how effectively these issues are hidden behind “new” or the “latest” research, always funded by an appropriate investor in the category.

The ongoing calls to “standardise” the options available in menopause lead Nigel Pollard from Flordis to get his dander up, and seek rational and relevant discussions to continue – not make “demands” and “controls” simply because the emphasis has moved away from the truly medical options.

Australian women aren’t stupid. They will seek the best option for their own particular set of uncomfortable symptoms. Simply moving from HRT strength to strength, or from type to type, solves nothing. Spending time to help identify the troublesome symptoms is what’s needed.

Interestingly, many years ago when HRT was being hailed as the saviour to women’s health, I attended an information evening with a doctor’s group at a leading women’s health institution.

I asked a question as to how the GP initiates a particular type of HRT, whether it be pills, patches, troches or creams. The answer, in front of the attendees in the room, has stayed with me since that day, so many years ago.

“We just guess!” was the reply.

Women’s health deserves better.

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