Compared with premenopausal women, perimenopausal women (odds ratio [OR], 2.09; 95% CI, 1.42–3.06) and early postmenopausal women (OR, 1.83, 95% CI, 1.21–2.76) were more likely to use any CAM for VMS.
The prevalence of use of CAMs for other symptoms was 32.23%; being postmenopausal and older were the factors associated with this use.
The current prevalence of the use of CAMs specifically for menopausal symptoms in Australia is not known.
Objective: To document the prevalence of, and factors associated with, the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) for vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and other symptoms of menopause in Australian women aged 40–65 years.
Design, setting and participants: Cross-sectional questionnaire-based study of Australian women aged 40-65 years living independently in the community.
Use of oestrogen for the relief of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) (eg, hot flushes, night sweats) was common until 2002, when concerns about the safety of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) arising from a Women’s Health Initiative study1 triggered a dramatic decline in the prescription of MHT.Concurrently, the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has grown considerably,2 with one Australian study reporting that most women presenting to a menopause clinic had used CAMs for their menopausal symptoms.3 However, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of CAMs that are most visibly promoted for managing VMS, such as black cohosh and phytoestrogens.45 Women at midlife are also likely to be taking other CAMs to manage other menopausal symptoms.