GPs failing to give women advice on menopause treatment options

Posted on: 04 November 2009 by Mark O'haire

Less than a fifth of women are told about alternative therapies to HRT according to a new report.

Despite recent headlines and concerns over the link between HRT and cancer, over 80% of women going through the menopause are not being told about alternative treatments according to new report out today.

The survey by Phyto Soya found that almost half of women with menopausal symptoms were prescribed HRT after visiting their GP. Yet 50% of these admitted they had actually since stopped HRT treatment due to concerns about long term health.

So what are women using to manage their symptoms? Two thirds (66%) of women surveyed said they suffered in silence, taking no treatments at all.

Over a fifth (23%) of respondents had taken it upon themselves to try natural therapies and over a quarter had tried to alleviate symptoms by making changes to their diet and lifestyle. Over 80% of women think that natural alternatives for treating menopausal symptoms should be available on prescription.

When it comes to looking for information on dealing with the menopause and advice on treatments, almost 6 in 10 women were not satisfied with the initial consultation at their GP. Over half simply said they would have liked more information on the options available.

Phyto Soya, the experts in natural solutions to menopause, is leading a campaign to get proven natural treatment options available on the NHS.  Dr Sarah Brewer, a private GP and specialist in nutritional medicine supports the campaign. She said:

“It does concern me to see statistics like these as it means that many women out there are being given limited options to keep the unpleasant symptoms of the menopause in check.  HRT is just one answer but is not a route all women want to take. There are clinically proven natural supplements to help address falling oestrogen levels. It is a real shame that this recommendation isn’t coming more often from a GP or nurse practitioner – people who have looked after their medical needs all their lives.”


To hear more from Dr Brewer, click on our podcast here.

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