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Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of exercise as treatment for vasomotor menopausal symptoms. Design: Three-group randomised controlled trial, two exercise interventions and a control group. Setting: Primary Care, West Midlands UK. Population: Perimenopausal and postmenopausal women experiencing at least five hot flushes/night sweats per day and not taken MHT in previous 3 months were recruited from 23 general practices. Methods: Participants in both exercise interventions groups were offered two face-to-face consultations with a physical activity facilitator to support engagement in regular exercise. In addition, one exercise group received a menopause-specific information DVD and written materials to encourage regular exercise and the other exercise group was offered the opportunity to attend exercise social support groups in their communities. Interventions lasted 6 months. Main outcome measure: The primary outcome was frequency of hot flushes/night sweats at 6-month up. Results: Two hundred and sixty-one women were randomised (n = 87 per group). Neither of the exercise intervention groups reported significantly less frequent hot flushes/night sweats per week than controls (exercise-DVD versus control: -8.9, 95% CI -20.0 to 2.2; exercise-social support versus control: -5.2, 95% CI -16.7 to 6.3). Conclusions: This trial indicates that exercise is not an effective treatment for hot flushes/night sweats. Contrary to current clinical guidance, women should not be advised that exercise will relieve their vasomotor menopausal symptoms.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/1471-0528.13193

Type

Journal article

Journal

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Publication Date

2014

Keywords

Exercise, Hot flushes, Menopause, Night sweats, Primary care