An Overview of Non-Hormonal Treatment Options for Menopausal Symptoms

There’s a new brochure, available online, that offers detailed information on non-hormonal treatment options that may alleviate menopausal symptoms. It was developed jointly by the The University of Calgary (Canada) andAlberta Health Servicesto help women make sound decisions about complementary and alternative treatment options.   It’s an excellent resource for any one who is seeking straight-forward, unbiased information and it can be downloaded at no cost!

The well-designed brochurecan be used in two ways: you can search for information about treatments for a particular menopausal symptom including prescription drugs; herbs or dietary supplements; and therapies like acupuncture and paced breathing.  Or, you can look to see what symptoms a particular treatment may help alleviate.  Colored dots are used to reflect the safety of the treatment as rated by evidence-based sources.  Ratings fall into one of three categories:

  • no known side effects or interactions; generally considered safe
  • caution should be taken when using these treatments
  • proven risks but may be appropriate on an individual basis.

When there is strong, scientific evidence of a real benefit, the letter “E” is used to indicate effectiveness.  When there is no “E”,  that means the treatment  lacks clear and conclusive evidence of a benefit or lack of benefit. Finally, whether it’s a treatment such as Tai Chi, or an herb or dietary supplement such as Black Cohosh, the chart offers definitions, details about dosage & duration, interactions, and possible side effects.

Here are some examples, taken from the chart, of treatments and the conditions they’re considered effective for:Fish Oil

  • Black Cohosh – for hot flashes
  • Calcium – for bone loss,  sleep disturbances and restless legs
  • Fish Oil – for heart disease, mood disturbances and vaginal dryness
  • Soy (Phytoestrogens) for bone loss and hot flashes
  • Paced breathing – for hot flashes and stress

If you find this brochure helpful, why don’t you let the good doctors and staff in the Alberta Health Services’ Womens Resoure Center know by leaving a comment below.