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NCCIH Clinical Digest

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Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices

September 2013


Two mature women smiling

© Anna Chelnokova

Menopause is the permanent end of a woman’s menstrual periods. Menopause occurs naturally, or it can be caused by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Various natural products or mind and body practices are sometimes used in an effort to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

A 2005 NIH State-of-the-Science conference panel on the management of menopause-related symptoms noted the overall shortage of well-designed research on complementary health practices for menopausal symptoms. Since then, a number of additional studies and systematic reviews have been published. Evidence on the effects of mind and body practices for menopausal symptoms holds promise; however, scientists have found little evidence that natural products, such as herbs and other dietary supplements, are helpful.

This issue of the digest builds on findings from the NIH State-of-the-Science conference, with updates to reflect new developments.

Time to Talk Tips: 4 Things to Know About Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices

Read more about what the science says

Scientific Literature

NCCIH Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH, DHHS. NCCIH Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on complementary health approaches, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCIH-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is dedicated to exploring complementary health products and practices in the context of rigorous science, training complementary health researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCIH's Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCIH Web site at NCCIH is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States.


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This page last modified January 08, 2014