A decade after the Women' s Health Initiative-the experts do agree

Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of California, San Diego.
Menopause (New York, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 3.36). 07/2012; 19(8):846-7. DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31826226f2
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Lubna Pal, Mar 06, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: This discussion piece reflects on menstrual cycle research since the founding of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research in the context of contemporary research presented in this special issue of Sex Roles. Although women researchers in the 19th century began documenting that normal menstruation is neither disabling nor dangerous, taboos, concealment and avoidance of menstruation persist. Feminist researchers have worked to find ways to support women’s health and wellbeing within a sociocultural milieu still reflecting largely negative views of menstrual cycle phenomena. The present collection of current menstrual cycle research offers useful contextual approaches to understanding why menstruation remains in the shadows, and how to resist negative characterizations, as well as encourage curiosity and body awareness. Alternatives to mainstream corporate and medical views of menstrual phenomena are discussed. Fruitful theoretical and methodological directions for research are identified to support advocacy, educational, and therapeutic interventions for menstrual health.
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Mayo Clinic Proceedings
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    ABSTRACT: Women have always looked for non-hormonal options to alleviate menopausal vasomotor symptoms and prevent menopausal bone loss. The use of complementary and alternative medicine for these purposes has particularly increased after the publication of the Women's Health Initiative's results suggesting that there might be more risks than benefits with hormone replacement. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived estrogens that, although less potent than estradiol, bind to the estrogen receptor and can function as estrogen agonists or antagonists. Soy isoflavones extracted from soy are the phytoestrogens most commonly used by menopausal women. Because typical Western diets are low in phytoestrogens and taking into account the general difficulty in changing dietary habits, most clinical trials in Western women have used isoflavone-fortified foods or isoflavone tablets. Although some women might experience a reduction in the frequency or severity of hot flashes, most studies point towards the lack of effectiveness of isoflavones derived from soy or red clover, even in large doses, in the prevention of hot flashes and menopausal bone loss.
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