Hormone and Non-Hormonal Therapy Options for Menopause
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Hormone and Non-Hormonal Therapy Options for Menopause

Menopause marks a significant phase in a woman's life, characterized by a natural decline in reproductive hormones that can lead to a variety of symptoms ranging from hot flashes to sleep disruptions and genitourinary issues. The recent publication, "A Review of Hormone and Non-Hormonal Therapy Options for the Treatment of Menopause" by Tracy E. Madsen and colleagues, offers a comprehensive overview of the treatment strategies available, focusing on Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) alongside alternative non-hormonal approaches.

Understanding the Scope of Menopausal Therapy

The review underlines the importance of MHT for alleviating menopause-related symptoms such as vasomotor symptoms (VMS), sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction. With the backdrop of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trials that once raised concerns about the safety of MHT, recent updates to the evidence and guidelines provide a clearer understanding of when and how MHT should be employed.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT)

MHT remains the most effective method for treating menopause symptoms, particularly VMS. The review emphasizes that MHT is especially beneficial and safe for women who are less than 60 years old or less than 10 years post-menopause and do not have significant cardiometabolic comorbidities. The safety and efficacy of MHT are contingent on patient-specific factors such as age, the onset of menopause, and individual risk profiles for diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Non-Hormonal Alternatives

For women who cannot or choose not to use MHT, several non-hormonal options exist, though their efficacy generally lags behind that of MHT. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, clinical hypnosis, and mindfulness, along with lifestyle adjustments like diet and exercise. Pharmacologic options such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are recognized for their ability to reduce menopausal symptoms, albeit typically with less efficacy than hormone treatments.

Key Takeaways from Updated Guidelines

The review brings to light updated guidelines from specialty societies that refine the risk-versus-benefit profile of MHT based on recent evidence. These updates are critical for clinicians to tailor treatments more precisely and safely. The acknowledgment of MHT’s role in improving bone health post-menopause, particularly for osteopenia, is significant, suggesting MHT's dual role in symptom management and disease prevention.


Madsen and colleagues provide a critical, timely update on the management of menopausal symptoms, offering valuable insights into both hormonal and non-hormonal therapies. Their review serves as a guide for clinicians to navigate the complex decisions involved in managing menopause, emphasizing personalized care and the importance of considering individual patient profiles when deciding on therapy options. As research continues to evolve, the therapeutic landscape for menopause is likely to become even more refined, improving the quality of life for millions of women worldwide.

  • Madsen TE, Sobel T, Negash S, Shrout Allen T, Stefanick ML, Manson JE, Allison M. A Review of Hormone and Non-Hormonal Therapy Options for the Treatment of Menopause. Int J Womens Health. 2023 May 25;15:825-836. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S379808. PMID: 37255734; PMCID: PMC10226543.
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1.Understanding the Scope of Menopausal Therapy
2.Key Takeaways from Updated Guidelines