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Portrait of mature lady sitting at the table and having consultation with gynecologist
Understanding the burden of VMS on women's lives​

Transcript: Unmet Needs in VMS

Last updated:21st May 2024
Published:21st May 2024

Dr Juliana (Jewel) Kling

All transcripts are created from interview footage and directly reflect the content of the interview at the time. The content is that of the speaker and is not adjusted by Medthority.


Vasomotor symptoms being so frequent, many women go untreated. The research shows that about 70% of women are untreated as it relates to their vasomotor symptoms. And when we look at women of color, or other marginalised groups, that gap is more significant. Women of colour are less likely to be offered hormone therapy, which is the mainstay of treatment.
Although, we have plenty of non-hormone options that are available as well. So really, I think the unmet need is offering treatment to women and maybe even before that, is acknowledging that these symptoms are common and can impact a woman's day-to-day life. Our gold standard treatment for treating vasomotor symptoms is menopausal hormone therapy.
Much of the story as it relates to menopause has to do with real misinformation and lack of education in this space. As many may be familiar, there was a big study in the US called the Women's Health Initiative that closed early in 2002 because of increased risks including cardiovascular disease risks. We know now very well that the safety of hormone therapy has to do with the timing of initiation.
Meaning if women start hormone therapy early in menopause less than age 60 or within 10 years from the last menstrual cycle, that the benefits largely outweigh the risks. But that information hasn't necessarily translated to clinical practice or the education space. And so despite hormone therapy being our gold standard treatment for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms, many women aren't offered hormone therapy. I suspect that opportunities like what we're doing today will help start addressing those gaps both for women and for clinicians. Another opportunity is the non-hormone treatments that are available, both the pharmacologic treatments but also the non-pharmacologic treatments. And what's really fantastic is within the last year, well, I guess a little bit over a a year now, actually it is within the last year, that we have our second non-hormone FDA approved treatment called fezolinetant to treat vasomotor symptoms.

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