Intense Menopausal Symptoms of HIV Positive Women Are Most Often Not Addressed

prescription drug padOctober 20 , 2015
by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM 2015 Annual Meeting Press Release

Baltimore, MD- A new study reported at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that women living with HIV infection experience intense symptoms during the menopausal transition that can severely affect the quality of their lives- symptoms which frequently go untreated.

Twenty-three women, African American, with an average age of 47, living with HIV for 13 and a half years on average, who had had at least one menstrual period in the last year were interviewed and completed a questionnaire addressing psychological, somatic and vasomotor symptoms. All of the women reported hot flashes; 78% had trouble sleeping two or three times a week; and 78% felt tired. When asked, 87% of the women reported that they had talked to their primary care physician about their symptoms, but only 20% of them received any treatment.

Richard Paulson, MD, Vice President of ASRM, commented, “The menopausal transition can be particularly challenging for women living with other conditions affecting their overall health and well-being. Even though most of the HIV+ women surveyed in this study reported their menopausal symptoms to their doctors, the vast majority received no treatment for them. We need to better educate the primary healthcare providers to this population about options that can offer to relief to their patients on the cusp of menopause.”

P-1 T. Robinson et al, “Experience of Women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus during the Menopause Transition.”

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