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Nonpharmacologic Treatments for Menopause-Associated Vasomotor Symptoms

Goldstein KM, Coeytaux RR, Williams JW, Shepherd-Banigan M, Goode AP, McDuffie JR, Befus D, Adam S, Masilamani V, Van Noord M, Nagi A, Wing L. Nonpharmacologic Treatments for Menopause-Associated Vasomotor Symptoms. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2016 Jul 1. 98 p. Report No.: VA ESP Project #09-009.


Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), which include hot flashes and night sweats, are the most common symptoms reported during the menopausal transition and are experienced by as many as 80% of women. VMS can lead to increased healthcare encounters for symptom relief and reductions in quality of life. The degree to which VMS is bothersome is determined not only by how frequently it occurs but also by other factors such as duration of VMS, coexisting sleep problems, and the extent to which VMS interferes with daily activities or job-related activities. Hormone therapy (HT) is an effective treatment for reducing VMS, but use of this therapeutic approach must be individualized through weighing benefits with known risks, such as cardiovascular events or uterine and breast cancers. Based on age ( > 45 years), currently half of the approximately 360,000 women Veterans who use Veterans Health Administration healthcare are perimenopausal or postmenopausal. Due in part to concerns about possible harms from long-term hormone therapy and in part to uncertain efficacy and safety of pharmacologic treatments, many women with VMS seek nonhormonal, nonpharmacologic treatment options.

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