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Hundreds of people urge rethink on NICE draft menopause guideline

More than 650 people share their views as part of Newson Health’s response

Hundreds of people have joined Newson Health to urge a rethink of proposed updates to the NICE menopause guidelines.

Newson Health invited members of the public to lend their voices to our response to a consultation on a draft update to the guideline, which is used by healthcare professionals to inform menopause treatment and care.

Overwhelming response

We were overwhelmed by the response to our callout and submitted feedback to NICE from 655 people who shared personal stories about the perimenopause and menopause symptoms, struggles to access treatment, and the impact of HRT on their lives.

A number of healthcare professionals also lent their voice to our consultation response, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Counsellors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists also voiced concerns on the draft recommendation that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) should be considered alongside or as an alternative to HRT.

Missed opportunity

Newson Health and balance founder, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson, said:

‘We were truly overwhelmed by the response to our call for people to get in touch and I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their stories and views.

‘As an organisation which cares for thousands of women, and educates and empowers millions through our resources, we were dismayed to read the draft update.

‘At best the draft guideline is a missed opportunity; at worst it represents a retrograde step for the health of millions of women, as well as healthcare professionals globally who depend on national guidelines like these to inform treatment and care.

‘I hope NICE take our views into account rethink the current draft as it stands to ensure women have access to unbiased, evidence-based, individualised care for perimenopause and menopause they both need and deserve.’

HRT as first line treatment

The consultation on the proposed updates closed on 5 January, with NICE expected to respond later this year.

Comments received by Newson Health included:

‘I believe that whilst CBT has its place it does not and will not help all of the symptoms.

‘HRT should be used alongside it.. women have a right to have their reducing hormones replaced for quality of life.’

‘Talking therapies cannot help with physical aches and pains, loss of libido, mental sharpness, mood swings and cannot replace lost hormones. They help with managing situations and responses,’ another said.

‘Maybe talking therapy would help women deal with the enormous frustration many feel whilst trying to access HRT.’

A GP with 25 years’ experience told us: ‘I’ve made more difference to the quality of my patients lives and that of their families, by prescribing HRT, than any other medical intervention.

‘We continue to underestimate the benefits of HRT both short and long term at our peril.’

Hundreds of people urge rethink on NICE draft menopause guideline

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