Women Eager for New Ways to Manage Menopause
Washington, DC (September 9, 2004) Seventy-five percent of women in a national
menopause survey say they would recommend hormone therapy to a friend. This
finding, among others, comes from an online survey conducted by the National
Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC).
"In a 2003 survey, women told us that they were concerned about the safety
of menopausal hormone therapy. They had turned to vitamins, over-the-counter
medications or herbal remedies - none of which are approved by the FDA to treat
menopause symptoms," said Amy Niles, president and CEO of the NWHRC. "This year,
we find women much more comfortable with their hormone therapy choices and willing
to explore new delivery systems."
In fact, 63.5 percent of respondents were willing to consider new delivery
methods for their hormone therapy, such as a transdermal gel applied to the
arm - the newest delivery option for estrogen therapy.
In spite of an increased willingness to explore new delivery options, the survey
indicated women still are confused about several issues. For example, while
the estrogen-only arm of the Women's Health Initiative, which studied Premarin,
found that hormone therapy does not increase the incidence of breast cancer,
women cited it as their number one fear related to using hormone therapy.
Also, women expressed confusion surrounding bio-identical hormones from specialized
compounding pharmacies. More than half of survey respondents thought such compounds
were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, even though they are
not. Ironically, FDA approval was so important to the women in the survey that
more than two-thirds would not think a product was safe or effective without
Summary of Key Findings
The National Women's Health Resource Center
Survey on Women and Menopausal Hormone Therapy
- 83.7 percent of women surveyed were between the ages of 40 and 64.
- 63.5 percent of women who are currently on or are considering hormone therapy
would consider a new delivery form, such as a transdermal gel applied to the
- 51 percent of women were prescribed hormone therapy as their first course
of treatment, and 68 percent of women indicated their first course of treatment
was effective in alleviating the symptoms of menopause, with the largest number
of women citing their treatment as "very effective."
- More than half the women surveyed were not aware that bio-identical hormones
compounded in a pharmacy were not FDA approved, and only 29 percent of women
indicated they would think a bio-identical product was safe and effective
without FDA approval. The largest number of women indicated they would prefer
an FDA approved bio-identical hormone therapy option.
- Understanding the need for individualized therapy, 75 percent of women would
recommend hormone therapy as an option to treat symptoms associated with menopause.
To address the confusion and provide women with a comprehensive resource for
all of their questions related to menopause and hormone therapy, the NWHRC has
developed a new Menopause Awareness Kit, available on the center's Web site
Included in the free kit are several educational items for menopausal women,
including a comprehensive guide to understanding menopause, a chart describing
the most commonly used forms of hormone therapy, a woman's menopause glossary,
and a list of questions women can use in talking about menopause and hormone
therapy with their health care providers.
The NWHRC survey was conducted between May 20, 2004 and June 30, 2004 through
Out of a total of 814 respondents, 83.7 percent were between the ages of 40
For more information about menopause, click here.
The National Women's Health Resource Center is the nation's leading independent
nonprofit organization dedicated to educating women of all ages about health
and wellness issues. Its programs include publications such as the bimonthly
newsletter the National Women's Health Report, public education campaigns
and its Web site, www.healthywomen.org.
Created: 9/9/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.