The following topics concerning the alternative-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.
Bioidentical custom compounded hormone therapy
‘Bioidentical’ hormone therapy refers to compounded products which are marketed as hormones that are identical to those produced by the body. The production of these products is not subject to the regulatory conditions of approved pharmaceutical products (1). “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.
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 September 2018