The Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health network conducted three randomized clinical trials (RCTs) testing six interventions treating vasomotor symptoms (VMS), and also collected menopause-related quality of life (QOL) measures. A fourth RCT assessed an intervention for insomnia symptoms among women with VMS. We describe these seven interventions’ effects on menopause-related QOL relative to control in women with VMS.
We pooled individual-level data from 1,005 peri- and postmenopausal women with 14 or more VMS/week across the four RCTs. Interventions included escitalopram 10 to 20 mg/d; yoga/aerobic exercise; 1.8 g/d omega-3-fatty acids; oral 17-beta-estradiol 0.5 mg/d; venlafaxine XR 75 mg/d; and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Outcomes measures were the Menopause-specific Quality of Life scale and its subscales.
Significant improvements in total Menopause-specific Quality of Life from baseline were observed with estradiol, escitalopram, CBT-I, and yoga, with mean decreases of 0.3 to 0.5 points relative to control. The largest improvement in the vasomotor subscale was observed with estradiol (-1.2 points), with more modest but significant effects seen with escitalopram, yoga, and CBT-I. Significant improvements in the psychosocial subscale were observed for escitalopram, venlafaxine, and CBT-I. For the physical subscale, the greatest improvement was observed for CBT-I and exercise, whereas for the sexual subscale, the greatest improvement was observed for CBT-I, with yoga and estradiol demonstrating smaller effects.
These results suggest that for menopause-related QOL, women have a variety of treatment strategies to choose from and can select an approach based on most bothersome symptoms and individual preferences.