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Alternate Therapies

The following topics concerning the alternate-therapies may be found in the AMS Information Sheets.  

Complementary and Herbal Therapies for Hot Flushes 

Many women experience hot flushes and night sweats around the time of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been proven to be effective in alleviating these symptoms (1). Some women however, choose to explore complementary or herbal therapies for relief of symptoms. There have been a great many trials of complementary and herbal medicines and some of these have suggested benefits from certain therapies and others have shown no benefit. It can be difficult for consumers and for doctors to interpret this mixed information (2). This information sheet provides a brief overview of the current evidence for complementary and herbal therapies.

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pdfAMS Complementary and Herbal Therapies for Hot Flushes824.5 KB

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Bioidentical Hormone Preparations - History of Development

The use of the terminology ‘BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE’ therapy has aroused much controversy and heated debate over the past 20 years, often with much criticism and unreferenced claims from the various protagonists.

Major concerns are directed towards a growing trend by compounding pharmacists to promote the use of bioidentical oestrogen and bioidentical progesterone as being ‘natural’ and therefore superior to ‘synthetic’ hormone therapy. To add to the concerns is the promotion of these ‘natural’ hormones using delivery systems such as troches and creams. While there is evidence that both routes of delivery are viable, there is very little evidence that HRT delivered in this formulation is able to achieve physiological levels capable of inhibiting osteoporosis, a reduction in cardiovascular damage or a positive influence on neurological function.

It is for that reason the Australasian Menopause Society is reviewing the major points of dissension in the debate and providing information and data regarding bioidentical hormones to allow women and their health care providers with the knowledge that will allow them to make an informed decision as to reasons to use any of the various forms of HRT including compounded bioidentical therapy.

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pdfBioidentical Hormone Preparations - History of Development773.85 KB

Bioidentical Hormones for Menopausal Symptoms

The use of the terminology ‘BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE’ therapy has aroused much controversy and heated debate over the past 20 years, often with much criticism and unreferenced claims from the various protagonists.

Major concerns are directed towards a growing trend to promote the use of “Bioidentical hormone therapy” as being ‘natural’ and therefore superior to ‘synthetic’ hormone therapy. “Bioidentical hormones” are defined as compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body (US Endocrine Society definition). It is important to realise that all hormones are synthesised. No hormone used in any preparation (regular HRT or “bioidentical therapy”) is ‘natural’ – they are all synthesised from some precursor by the action of enzymes. Both regular and compounded hormone therapies use bioidentical oestradiol but because of its rapid degradation and unsafe endometrial response, bioidentical progesterone is not used by commercial pharmaceutical companies.

This pamphlet explains why the Australasian Menopause Society does not endorse the use of compounded bioidentical hormone therapies.

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pdfBioidentical Hormones for Menopausal Symptoms703.33 KB 

 

AMS New directions in women's health

Note: Medical and scientific information provided and endorsed by the Australasian Menopause Society might not be relevant to a particular person's circumstances and should always be discussed with that person's own healthcare provider.

These Information Sheets may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members and other health professionals for clinical practice is permissible. Any other use of this information (hardcopy and electronic versions) must be agreed to and approved by the Australasian Menopause Society.

Content Updated January 2014

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