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First global tool developed to predict and treat menopause

ctress Susan-Ann Walker, as the earth mother, performs during a photo call for 'Menopause The Musical' at the Showroom Theatre on August 4, 2005, in Sydney, Australia.
Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Menopause is not the same for every woman although more than half of the Earth’s population will experience menopause if they live long enough. Professor Susan Davis and colleagues from the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University in Australia have developed the first simple tool that can predict the onset of menopause and recommend treatment for symptoms based on the person, the country they live in, and the availability of treatments locally. The Practitioner Toolkit for Managing the Menopause was presented in the July 6, 2014, edition of the journal Climacteric.

The need for a simple predictive tool for menopause is substantiated by the lack of time physicians have to determine the proper treatment for a woman that experiences complications like depression, joint pain, and hot flashes with the onset of menopause. Women in different countries experience different time frames for the onset of menopause due to differences in nutritional and environmental conditions. Likewise, women in different countries experience menopause at different ages although the global range for the beginning of menopause is between 45 years of age and 55 years of age.

Even in countries with the most advanced health care, physicians must wade through a 40 page questionnaire to determine the severity of a given woman’s menopausal symptoms and the proper treatment. The computer program created by Davis takes about five minutes to produce a diagnosis and treatment options. The program is based on learning software that allows the program to make a proper diagnosis based on the country a woman lives in. The program will be available free to all physicians on July 7, 2014, and is recommended to be used for all women beginning at age 40.

The International Menopause Society is supporting the use of the Practitioner Toolkit for Managing the Menopause across the world based on the results produced in the development and trial of the program. The program produces a state of individualized care for menopause that has never existed before. The aim is simple, fast, and specific treatment for the complications that may accompany the onset of menopause and prediction of disease states that could occur due to menopause.

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