New York: More US women are seeking hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms from anti-ageing clinicians, feeling that conventional doctors do not take their suffering seriously, according to a new study.
Some women also feared the harmful side effects from conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which had shown increased risks for cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.
"They thought that 'natural' hormones their anti-ageing doctors prescribed were safe, despite a lack of conventional scientific evidence to that fact," researchers from Case Western Reserve University said.
"Hormones became the panacea reported by the women. They felt that if the hormones were in order, they would be back on track," said Michael Flatt, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Case Western Reserve University.
Among the reasons women said they found anti-ageing medicine attractive were more time and attention from the doctor, "natural" medications and a safer approach than conventional hormone replacement therapy.
Was it vanity to maintain their youthful appearance or some other motivation?
Findings from in-depth interviews with 25 women who used bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) prescribed by an anti-ageing clinician bucked the vanity-driven stereotype.
"Instead, the women told us they wanted to relieve their menopausal symptoms, feel energised and avoid chronic illnesses associated with ageing," added Jennifer Fishman, an assistant professor at McGill University.
The women also described their motivation as wanting to return to an "optimal" state and believed that bioidentical hormones would do this.
The researchers were scheduled to present their findings Monday at the 109th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco.