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Fact Sheets

The AMS website is often the first port of call for patients. With this in mind we have decided to create a set of fact sheets for patients, as companion sheets to the popular videos, and the other more detailed AMS Information Sheets.

Menopause what are the symptoms?

Menopause What are the symptoms

Menopause at a glance

  • Every woman is affected by menopause in some way – either they experience symptoms orother physical changes.
  • The average age of menopause is 51 years but you can enter menopause earlier.
  • Hormonal changes cause menopausal symptoms.
  • Most women will have some symptoms.
  • Most women have symptoms for 5 to 10 years.

Menopause occurs when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 months. Menopause is a natural part of life occurring at around age 51 years but can also happen for other reasons.

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Non-hormonal treatment options for menopausal symptoms

Non hormonal treatment options for menopausal symptomsMain points

  • Your doctor can suggest prescription medication options for your menopausal symptoms if you are unable to or do not want to use menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).
  • Prescription medication options can help with hot flushes, sweatsand changes in mood and sleep patterns.
  • Specific antidepressants and epilepsy medications can help with menopausal symptoms in many women.
  • A blood pressure drug (clonidine) can give relief for some women with milder symptomsDownload 

pdfNon-hormonal treatment options for menopausal symptoms137.26 KB

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What is Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) and is it safe?

What is MHT and is it safe

Main points

  • MHT (also known as Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT) covers a range of hormonal treatments that can reduce menopausal symptoms.
  • MHT is the most effective way to control menopausal symptoms while also giving other health benefits.
  • MHT is safe to use for most women in their 50s or for the first 10 years after the onset of menopause.
  • The risk for blood clots, stroke and breast cancer while taking MHT are very small and lower than for many other risk factors such as being overweight.
  • Different types of MHT are associated with different risks. Your doctor can work with you to reduce your risk by using different hormonal treatment options.

Download pdfWhat is Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) and is it safe?117.67 KB 


Will menopause affect my sex life?

Will menopause affect my sex life?Main Points

  • If your sex life is good before menopause, it is likely to remain good after menopause.
  • Sexual wellbeing is complex and many other personal factors in your life could be involved.
  • Vaginal dryness can be treated with creams and lubricant.
  • Hormonal treatments include oestrogen or testosterone therapy but only use testosterone designed for women.
  • Your doctor, a pelvic health physiotherapist or a counsellor may need to work with you to look at the many factors that might be affecting your sexual wellbeing.

Download  pdfAMS Will menopause affect my sex life?100.03 KB

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Complementary medicine options for menopausal symptomsComplementary medicine options for menopausal symptoms

Main Points

  • Complementary medicine is used to describe a wide range of health care medicines, therapies (forms of treatment that do not involve medicines) and other products that are not generally considered as part of conventional medicine
  • Some complementary medicines may help with mild symptoms, but there is little evidence that many popular complementary medicines help with symptoms or are safe.
  • Speak with your doctor before using complementary medicine because they might affect other medications.
  • Avoid buying online products – their safety cannot be guaranteed.
  • You should not use soy/ phytoestrogen products if you can’t take prescribed hormone therapy for safety reasons such as breast cancer.
  • Bio-identical compounded hormone therapy cannot be recommended because their safety is unknown.
  • No complementary medicine is as effective as oestrogen therapy for menopausal symptoms

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Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

Bioidentical hormone therapy fact sheet

Main Points

  • The Australasian Menopause Societydoes not recommend the use of compounded bioidentical hormonetherapy in any form.
  • Many pharmaceutical-grade, approvedmenopause hormone therapies (MHTs)prescribed by your doctorare ‘bodyidentical’– i.e.they contain hormonesidentical to those produced in thehuman body.
  • Compounded bioidentical hormones(BHTs) are not more ‘natural’ – evenwhen made from plants, they must bechemically synthesised in a laboratory.
  • Compounded BHTs are not tested forquality, safety and negative side effectsand they have been associated withcases of endometrial cancer.
  • There is no evidence that compoundedBHTs are effective and safe to use.

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Lifestyle and behaviour changes for menopausal symptoms

AMS Lifestyle and behaviour changes for menopausal symptomsMain Points

  • Many women wonder if lifestyle and behaviour changes can help with menopausal symptoms.
  • Studies have shown mixed results for lifestyle changes, so speak with your doctor if you have any questions. 
  • Maintaining healthy weight might be helpful as there is evidence that weight gain can increase the severity of menopausal symptoms.
  • Some evidence suggests yoga can help menopausal symptoms. Other activities such as exercising, breathing and relaxation practices or controlling environmental temperature might not necessarily help your symptoms, but they can help with your overall sense of wellbeing. 
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can improve wellbeing and decrease the impact of menopausal symptoms. 
  • Hypnosis might give you some benefit, but there is no evidence that acupuncture, magnetic therapy, reflexology or chiropractic  interventions help menopausal symptoms.

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Content updated October 2018 

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