Menopausal Women Being Prescribed 'Inappropriate' Antidepressants - Survey
LONDON, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a survey by nutritionist, author, and founder of the Women's Nutritional Advisory Service, Maryon Stewart, nearly 40% of women experiencing perimenopause are being prescribed antidepressants to help manage their symptoms, despite four out of five describing the treatment as "inappropriate."
The survey also found that:
- Nearly 40% of women reported not seeking help from their doctor to treat menopause symptoms
- Nine out of 10 women in the early stages of menopause want to be offered a natural alternative to HRT
The What Women Want at Menopause survey, released today (Thursday, 10 October), finds that women are increasingly reluctant to visit the doctor over fears they will not receive the right advice or treatment, as choices of medication for menopause are limited.
Healthcare expert and pioneer of the Natural Menopause Movement Maryon Stewart said she carried out the survey to demonstrate the urgent need to "provide more women with better support and information about their natural, science-based options when it comes to menopause."
In total, 1,101 U.K.-based women aged 42-55 years were surveyed, with the results showing only three in 10 women are satisfied with the help and advice on menopause they got from their GP, while 84% of respondents say their doctor didn't sufficiently answer their questions.
More than a third of the women reported being prescribed antidepressants for menopause – despite nearly 80% feeling the treatment was inappropriate for their symptoms. Less than half (41%) were prescribed HRT, although 14% of those didn't take it. Of the women who did, more than half reported side-effects, including constant bleeding, breast lumps, severe anxiety and a sense of being unwell. More than 90% of all respondents reported wanting advice on natural, science-based alternatives to HRT to manage their symptoms.
While antidepressants are the front-line treatment for perimenopausal depression, some studies have found that they're not always effective.
There are around 13 million perimenopausal or menopausal women in the U.K. -- one-third of the U.K. female population -- 80% of whom are in full-time or part-time work.
A recent report revealed three out of five (59%) working women between the ages of 45 and 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms say it has a negative impact on their work.
Maryon Stewart, founder of maryonstewart.com, said, "As an expert in women's hormonal health, I am deeply concerned -- but not surprised -- to learn that so many women are frustrated by the apparent lack of support, although doctors are not to blame.