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Awareness on Menopause is Lacking

Dr. R. Valavan

Homoeopathy has proven benefit on menopause. The list of studies relating the success of homoeopathy with menopause is big. Some of these scientific studies with single and complex homoeopathic medicines are reported in this article.

Studies highlighting the need for awareness

Most women at middle age remain ignorant of menopause. They are not keen to get proper medical care for their menopausal problems. In a very recent study conducted at Pune, nearly 45% of the subjects decided not to seek any treatment due to lack of awareness. The study further reveals that even their education and employment had no statistically significant relation to the choice of health care. Another study conducted by researchers at Banaras Hindu University explored that only 10% had apparently sought medical treatment despite embarrassment or discomfort experienced from these symptoms. Understanding the scenario, many studies in the past had suggested to initiate certain measure to improve the awareness. A study conducted in Baroda city, of Gujarat, India, had suggested in the conclusion that the need of the hour is to conduct awareness campaigns to inform general public, health workers, etc. about menopause and associated health issues through various forms of mass media. Another study conducted in Chandigarh, highlighting lack of awareness regarding menopause and related aspects in both urban and slum population, had suggested to make efforts by higher authorities to initiate various strategies and programmes. We homoeopaths have a responsibility to effectively contribute towards the spreading of the awareness.

It seems that the task of creating awareness is not only limited to women living in India. A survey conducted with Indian women living in United Kingdom, a decade ago, had suggested that there is an overwhelming demand for providing information and the need for special clinics run by female doctors who can communicate in the women’s own Indian language. Creating awareness to the women in the menopausal transition would create an opportunity for them to come out with problems rather than keeping mum. It will help them to avoid the consequences. A report reveals that menopause occurring earlier than average increases the risk for developing osteoporosis in 50% of patients. Apart from physical effects, there are effects at mental level. A survey found out that employed respondents undergoing menopause experienced more emotional stress. That puts extra burden on their emotional health. Homoeopaths need to consider treating these health issues from a lifestyle management perspective.

Homoeopathy is cost effective

Cost seems to be another factor for not seeking medical care. As per a report, increasing cost and unavoidability of the medical and social support are the reasons for avoiding medical care. It is true as witnessed by many patients especially in major cities. Instead of making them aware of the changes occurred during menopause, some corporate hospitals force them to do unwanted lab investigations. Instead of advising on lifestyle changes, personal habits, yoga, exercise, diet, home remedies, nutrients, etc., costly treatment procedures are suggested. Homoeopaths have a role to play in creating the awareness about this and giving them solace by gentle treatment of homoeopathy. Cost of the treatment is affordable even by low income group. In view of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) by conventional system of medicine and reported cases of carcinogenicity, homoeopathic treatment is the best option. Studies on risks of hormone replacement therapy, probably the only way by conventional medicine, are on the rise. Women taking the hormones greatly increased their risk for breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. Homoeopathy has a role to play in this societal problem, not only due to its cost effectiveness, also due to its proved efficacy as reported below.

Homoeopathy studies

Homoeopathy has proven benefit on menopause. The list of studies relating the success of homoeopathy with menopause is big. Some of these scientific studies with single and complex homoeopathic medicines are reported in subsequent pages.

Study 1
In the united kingdom, Sheffield’s National Health Service community menopause clinic runs a homeopathy service since 1998. An audit was undertaken of all patients referred to this service between 2001 and 2003, in which patients completed the Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile. As per the audit report, patients reported significant benefit from the service. The greatest response was seen in those reporting headaches, vasomotor symptoms, emotional/psychological symptoms and tiredness/fatigue as their primary symptoms

Study 2
It is a multi-centric, placebo-controlled, double blind GCP- (Good Clinical Practice)-study, which was carried out with a homoeopathic complex remedy (with the constituents Cimicifuga D2, Ignatia D3, Sanguinaria D2 and Sepia D2) in 7 gynaecological test centers in Kiev (Capital of Ukrain). Criteria for selection of patients were acute climacteric complaints not more than 3 years and patients with at least 20 score from a maximum of 100. Total number of patients was 233 (homoeopathy group – 118 and placebo group – 115) and the age group was between 40 and 54 years. The test medication was taken by the patients at a dosage of 3 x 2 tablets per day. Check up examinations were performed after 28, 56 and 84 days. The change on the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and ten other climacteric related disorders (Fluor vaginalis, seborrhea/acne, alopecia, weight increase, rheumatic complaints, headaches/migraine, nose bleeds, changes in mood, sadness/ worry, indifference to family and work) were the target parameters of the study. Patients were assessed as free from symptoms, much better, better, unchanged or worse after a treatment period of maximum 12 weeks. At the end of the study 6.8% and 69.5% patients from the homoeopathic group were completely free from the complaints and very much improved respectively, where as no patients from the placebo group reported either. Complaints unchanged in, 7.6% patients from homoeopathy group and 64.3% patients from placebo group. Only 4.72% patients from homoeopathy group prematurely withdrew the treatment, where as 72.45% patients from placebo group prematurely withdrew. The combination is commercially available.

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