Understanding Doctors Perception of Menopause and its Management

Menopause is a physiological event that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life. Over the past few decades, the issue of the optimal management of menopause has gained prominence, both for health professionals who need to make decisions regarding the best approach to treat their patients and for the increasing number of women who need to decide whether and how to deal with immediate symptoms and long-term prevention.

Objective: Understanding doctors’ perception of menopause and its management

A total of 466 doctors participated in the survey, including general practitioners 42%, others 39%, obstetrician & gynaecologists 7%, dentists 6%, ayurvedic doctors 3%, and internists 3%.

  1. Around 45% of doctors responded that patients (women) were somewhat aware of the symptoms of menopause

  2. A majority of doctors, 63% frequently come across patients with menopause symptoms

  3. A majority of doctors, 44% responded that osteoporosis was the most common disease related to menopause that they frequently encountered

  4. Around 40% of doctors responded that hot flushes were the most frequently encountered symptoms in menopaused women

  5. A majority of doctors, 55% commonly prescribed vitamin-D and calcium supplements to treat symptoms of menopause

  6. Around 45% of doctors responded that they were comfortable with discussing menopause with their patients

  7. Around 44% of doctors responded that the patient’s family were comfortable discussing symptoms of menopause

  8. A majority of doctors, 59% rarely prescribe hormone replacement therapy in menopause women

  9. A majority of doctors, 80% preferred to diagnose menopause based on symptoms and age

  10. Around 31% of doctors responded that ‘questions about easing symptoms of menopause were the most commonly asked questions by their patients

Our survey revealed that most women are aware of menopause and its symptoms. A majority of doctors found osteoporosis and depression were commonly encountered diseases related to menopause. While most women and their families were comfortable discussing menopause, some of them were not comfortable with the discussion. The most common symptoms experienced were hot flushes, mood swings, insomnia, and weight gain. Most doctors preferred to diagnose menopause based on symptoms and age. This could be because menopause is a retrospective diagnosis and usually a 12 month period of amenorrhoea confirms it. The most commonly asked questions by patients were regarding easing symptoms of menopause and concerns about menopause. Physicians should educate women about menopausal symptoms and healthy practices related to menopause.

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