By Sarah Nixon-Jackle RN, BScN, NCMP, Women’s Mid-Life Health Program, Saskatoon Health Region
Menopausal symptoms vary greatly among women. The most common “quality of life altering” symptoms include moderate-to-severe hot flashes and night sweats, and Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GMS) formerly known as vulvo-vaginal atrophy.
Deciding which treatment options are appropriate can be complex. Some women are good candidates for hormonal treatments and others are not appropriate candidates and should consider non-hormonal options for symptom management. Each woman’s choice is based on her symptoms, the level of “bother” those symptoms create for her quality of life, her personal preferences and her risk factor profile.
The Menopause Decision-Support Algorithm and MenoPro mobile iPhone/iPad tablet device app designed by the North American Menopause Society can make the decision making process easier, and is free to download. The new app helps clinicians and women work together to personalize treatment decisions based on risk stratification and personal preferences.
This new app includes options for “moderate to severe” hot flashes and/or night sweats (defined as bothersome enough to interfere with daily activities, worsen quality of life, and/or interrupt sleep), as well as symptoms including vaginal dryness, pain with sexual activity, or urinary issues. The app has 2 modes: one for clinicians and one for women/patients. As you work your way through the app convenient links are provided with additional information such as “Information on lifestyle modifications”, “Contraindications and Cautions on menopausal hormone therapy”. There are many others as well, depending on how the patient/clinician answers the questions posed. Also included is a Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score tool for the clinician to use.
The tool is very interesting for your own personal information and decision making needs. You can recommend this tool to your patients who are struggling with menopausal symptoms but are unsure about evidence based practice decisions…can be a myth buster!
North American Menopause Society: www.menopause.org