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From the Townsend Letter
December 2013

Majority of Women are Comfortable with Nonhormonal Therapies for Menopause-Related Hot Flashes
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While more than two-thirds of women aged 50 through 64 stated they are comfortable with using nonhormonal therapies for menopause-related hot flashes,only 10% reported they have talked to their doctors about these options. Additionally, more than half reported they were not aware of all the options available to them.

In the US, an estimated 50 million women have reached menopause, and most women will spend at least one-third of their lives beyond their final menstrual period.1 Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause, with 65% to 80% of women experiencing them to some degree.2 Despite the number of women affected by hot flashes, many are not aware of the variety of therapies available to them.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR) and Metagenics in April this year among 314 US women aged 50 through 64, found that while more than half (52%) were not aware of nonhormonal options, more than two-thirds (69%) reported they would be comfortable with using alternative and nonhormonal therapies to help reduce their hot flashes.

"Hot flashes can be very bothersome and disruptive to women, and there is some confusion about the range of available hot flash therapies," said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of SWHR. "SWHR believes strongly in the importance of educating women about all of the options available to them, including both hormonal and nonhormonal therapies, so they can make informed choices."

The SWHR and Metagenics survey also found that just 23% of women aged 50 through 64 said that they were aware of all the available therapies for menopause-related hot flashes, and only 1 in 5 (19%) have discussed any and all available options with their health-care providers.

"For many women, nonhormonal therapies can be a first-line or replacement therapy for reducing menopause-related hot flashes," said Joseph Lamb, MD, director of Intramural Clinical Research at Metagenics. "I encourage affected women to talk with their health-care provider to learn more about all available options and determine what may work best for them."

About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR) and Metagenics April 24–26, 2013, among 2068 adults aged 18 and older, among which 314 were females age 50 through 64. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Angela Masciarelli at (212) 299-8692 or

About the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR)
SWHR, a national nonprofit organization, is the thought leader in research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women's health through science, advocacy, and education. Visit SWHR's website at for more information.

1.   2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
2.   Rendall MJ, Simonds LM, Hunter MS. The Hot Flush Beliefs Scale: A tool for assessing thoughts and beliefs associated with the experience of menopausal hot flushes and night sweats. Maturitas. June 2008:158–169.


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