Cognitive Behavioural Therapy effective for menopause symptoms

At The Menopause Hub we offer a range of treatment to help women manage their menopause their way. And by menopause, we also mean premature menopause, early menopause, peri-menopause, post menopause and surgical menopause.

We offer medical services through our specialist team of menopause doctors but we also offer psychology and counselling services to help women through this often very difficult phase of their life. We also offer physiotherapy and acupuncture, which mean women have options outside of pharmacological option like, HRT.

One aspect of the treatment that our psychologist, Michele Pippet offers is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it is commonly referred to. And although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most commonly recommended treatment for menopause symptoms, research is ongoing for alternatives, especially nonpharmacologic options. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has previously been proposed as a low-risk treatment for hot flushes, but a new study suggests it may also effectively manage other menopause symptoms. Results are published just recently online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Women today now have more options than ever before when it comes to the treatment of common menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, depression, sleep disturbances, and sexual function. Because of its proven effectiveness, HRT still leads a long list of available treatment options. However, controversies and alarming media headlines regarding HRT have prompted some women to seek other options. Alternative treatments such as antidepressants have proven effective in treating menopause-related depression and, to a lesser extent, hot flushes. But these options can also have adverse effects.

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that teaches patients how to modify dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and thoughts and to develop personal coping strategies. It has proven effective in multiple studies in the treatment of various mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety. Previous studies relative to menopause symptoms, however, have focused only on its ability to manage hot flushes. This new study is the first of its kind to address a broad range of common physical and psychological menopause symptoms.

The study demonstrated that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) significantly improved hot flushes, depression, sleep disturbances, and sexual concerns, although little improvement was seen in anxiety. Moreover, the improvements were maintained for at least 3 months post treatment. Although a small study, it lays the foundation for future research focused on how various psychological treatments may help the millions of women who suffer with menopause symptoms.

Findings were published in the article "Cognitive behavior therapy for menopausal symptoms: a randomized controlled trial." 

"This small study is in line with other studies of menopausal women showing a benefit of cognitive behavior therapy in improving hot flushes. It additionally demonstrated an improvement in depression, sleep, and sexual function," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. "Larger trials comparing cognitive behavior therapy to other active treatments will help us to better understand how effective this therapy will be in highly symptomatic women."

And the role and effectiveness of CBT was also featured in Mariella Frostrup’s documentary on BBC1 “The Truth About The Menopause”. If you haven’t watched it, you can watch it via this link. The women in featured in the show are very convincing about the effectiveness of CBT.

And should you wish to explore this treatment option, please contact us on 01 210 7948 or on

Loretta Dignam