Healthcare seeking and treatment for menopausal symptoms in the United States
OBJECTIVES: A population-based study was used to describe healthcare seeking behavior for menopausal symptoms and treatment among women 40-65 years old in the United States. METHODS: Participants were recruited into the Menopause Epidemiology Study from the KnowledgePanel(SM), which is selected by random digit dialing and probability sampling from the US population. From this source, 6201 women 40-65 years old were contacted and 4402 women participated. From the 3135 peri- and postmenopausal women, detailed information was obtained on menopausal symptoms, healthcare seeking, medication usage, and symptom relief from the medication. RESULTS: Many women (60%) reported seeking health care for their menopausal symptoms. More than half of these women sought health care in the past 12 months. Vasomotor symptoms were the most frequently reported menopause symptoms across all races/ethnicities, and the most common symptoms discussed with a health care professional. One-third of the women (34%) used only hormone therapies, 12% used complementary and/or alternative medicines, and 16% used both for treatment of menopausal symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown that a large number of women consult healthcare providers for menopausal symptoms, indicating these symptoms are bothersome. Yet, in the United States, there is considerable variation in the symptomatology, healthcare seeking, and use of therapies for menopausal symptoms across cultures. To alleviate these symptoms women have tried alternative treatments as well as hormone therapies, yet many women did not get complete relief of specific symptoms.