Review of CAM for Menopause
An NIH State-of-the-Science meeting in March 2005 addressed the management of menopause-related symptoms, including through the use of CAM.1 More recently, a July 2006 review by Anne Nedrow, M.D., of Oregon Health and Science University, addressed this use of CAM. Dr. Nedrow and her colleagues reviewed 70 published studies on CAM for menopausal symptoms. Most (48 studies) tested biologically based practices such as soy products and herbal supplements; a few studies looked at other CAM therapies—such as progressive relaxation, osteopathic manipulation, and magnet therapy. Nearly half of the studies included in the review were of poor quality, which made their results unreliable. Differences among the studies made it challenging for the review authors to compare the results and draw conclusions. However, they did conclude that although individual studies suggest benefits from certain CAM therapies, the overall evidence does not support their use for menopausal symptoms. The authors noted that results from higher quality studies (especially on the most commonly used CAM therapies for menopause) are needed to better compare evidence among therapies.