Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Menopause

There has been a lot of talk about the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopause, but it’s not for everyone. Many women would prefer to use non-hormonal methods to control their menopause symptoms. Others have no choice - HRT is not often recommended for women who have undergone cancer treatment in the past. Unfortunately these same women, such as breast cancer survivors, may be more severely affected by symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats.

Two studies from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London have shown promise in using a form of talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat menopause symptoms. Professor Myra Hunter explains, “Cognitive behavioral therapies are brief, effective, non-medical treatment options for menopausal women that can be delivered by trained health professionals.”

This is very exciting news for women who are looking for effective, non-hormonal treatments for menopause symptoms. The studies found that for both breast cancer survivors and healthy women, CBT resulted in dramatically reduced hot flushes/night sweats as well as improvements in sleep, mood swings, and general quality of life.

In addition, Professor Hunter adds, “Our finding that self-help therapies can be as effective as group therapies is very exciting as we are keen to increase access to these kind of psychological therapies.”

If you’ve been looking for a way to reduce your menopause symptoms without using HRT, ask your medical professional about cognitive behavioral therapy.

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