Complementary and alternative therapies for the management of menopause-related symptoms: A systematic evidence review

Anne Nedrow, Jill Miller, Miranda Walker, Peggy Nygren, Laurie Hoyt Huffman, Heidi D. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


Background: Nearly half of adults in the United States use complementary and alternative therapies each year for a variety of reasons. These therapies are increasingly popular among women seeking alternatives to treatment with estrogen for managing menopausal symptoms. The objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness of complementary and alternative therapies in the management of menopausal symptoms. Data Sources: MEDLINE, PsychINFO, Cochrane Library database, MANTIS, and AMED. Study Selection: Full-text, English-language, randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses comparing a complementary or alternative therapy with placebo or control for treatment of menopausal symptoms. Data Extraction: All eligible trials were reviewed, abstracted into evidence tables, and rated for quality. Data Synthesis: Seventy randomized controlled trials met inclusion criteria. Forty-eight studies of phytoestrogens and other biologically based agents showed mixed results. Smaller numbers of studies using mind-body, energy, manipulative, and body-based therapies and whole medical systems showed little benefit in treating menopausal symptoms. Conclusions: Although individual trials suggest benefits from certain therapies, data are insufficient to support the effectiveness of any complementary and alternative therapy in this review for the management of menopausal symptoms. Many of these potential therapies warrant further study in trials with rigorous scientific designs to determine benefit and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1465
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of internal medicine
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 24 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Complementary and alternative therapies for the management of menopause-related symptoms: A systematic evidence review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this