Last Friday, on the 5th of January 2024, The Menopause Consortium took a significant step in advocating for improved menopause care by submitting our response to the draft guidelines proposed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). While much of the guidelines align with established good practices, our primary focus was on addressing the ambiguous and potentially misleading aspects related to Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) and contraindications.
Concerns Regarding MHT:
Our scrutiny of the draft guidelines revealed certain ambiguities and potential misinformation surrounding Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) and its contraindications. We have engaged with the committee, urging them to clarify and rectify these issues to ensure that healthcare professionals and patients alike are well-informed when considering MHT as a treatment option.
Whole Person Approach:
The Menopause Consortium has always championed a holistic approach to menopause care, emphasizing the importance of treating the whole person. We are pleased to note that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been recognised as a supplementary treatment alongside conventional approaches. This holistic perspective acknowledges the interplay of physical and psychological symptoms during menopause.
Advocacy for Inclusive Treatment Options:
While applauding the inclusion of CBT, we must also acknowledge the omission of certain valuable treatments. Dr. Saul Berkovitz MRCP, Clinical Director and Clinical Lead at the Adult Allergy Service of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, has championed the case for Clinical Hypnosis. The Menopause Consortium wholeheartedly supports this call for the inclusion of Clinical Hypnosis as a recognised treatment option. It is essential to recognise that various physical and psychological symptoms associated with menopause may benefit from a range of treatment options.
Promoting Informed Choices:
The Menopause Consortium firmly believes in empowering patients with choices. Although MHT is often a first-line treatment, it may not always be the optimal choice for everyone. By providing clinicians with diverse and suitable alternative treatment options, we prioritise the importance of choice in menopause care. Informed decisions are crucial, and our advocacy aims to ensure that women have the information and agency to make the choices that align with their individual healthcare needs.
As we eagerly anticipate the finalised guidelines from NICE, The Menopause Consortium remains committed to upholding high standards in women’s healthcare. Our ongoing engagement with the committee reflects our dedication to refining guidelines that truly cater to the diverse needs of women experiencing menopause. We look forward to a future where women have access to a comprehensive array of treatment options, promoting holistic well-being during this transformative stage of life.