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Women needed for menopause study


Brigid Veale
25 August 2009
Southern Cross University researchers are undertaking a study of a specific herbal formula to see if it can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause, especially hot flushes.

Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation. It can occur at any time in a woman’s life, but is most common between 45 and 55 years of age. Menopause is a normal process which marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life and leads to a permanent change in hormone levels. These changes in hormone levels cause the symptoms of menopause which can last for a number of years.

According to Professor Stephen Myers and Dr Joan O’Connor, the researchers involved in the project, studies show that 80 to 85 per cent of all women experience unpleasant menopausal symptoms at some point. These can include hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, moodiness, tension, anxiety and emotional instability, resulting in perceived loss in quality of life. Approximately 33 percent of women will experience these symptoms at a significant level.

“Menopause is a natural transitional event and a number of women are reluctant to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) due to well publicised adverse outcomes,” Professor Myers said.

“The herbal formula we are testing has been developed through Western and traditional Chinese herbal medicine systems and has been designed to assist in balancing and supporting normal female physiology during hormonal changes.

“It contains herbs including dong quai, Chinese yam and chasteberry, which are claimed to support the endocrine and nervous systems.

“The formula also contains calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to support bone structure and regulate hormones.”

Professor Myers and Dr O’Connor are seeking women aged 45-65 in good health, who have ceased menstruation for at least two months and who are experiencing hot flushes and perhaps other menopausal symptoms, to participate in the study.

For more information, please contact Dr Joan O’Connor on [email protected] or phone 6620 3649.

Photo: Professor Stephen Myers.