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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2012 February;64(1):15-22

language: Italian

Clinical effects of treatment with phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women

Ciotta L. 1, Stracquadanio M. 1, Pagano I. 1, Andò A. 2, Valenti O. 1, Roccasalva L. S. 1

1 Istituto di Patologia Ostetrica e Ginecologica, Università di Catania, Catania, Italia;
2 Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Catania, Catania, Italia


AIM AND METHODS: Phytoestrogens are plant substances that have estrogenic properties; they haven’t steroid structure but they are heterocyclic phenols and for this reason are similar to 17 β estradiol from the functional and structural point of view; they compete for the same receptor sites of endogenous estrogens, but with an activating capacity a thousand times lower. For this reason, the isoflavones are an alternative to hormone-replacement treatment: they are prescribed to all those women who cannot be treated with HRT for several contraindications, such as thrombosis or breast tumor familiarity. The aim of our study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of soy isoflavones on menopausal symptoms.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: In our experience, literature data were confirmed, with a 40% reduction of the vasomotor symptoms after 6 months of treatment. Associated with this improvement, there is also the reduction in the degree of insomnia and depressive symptoms. The musculoskeletal pains, however, are not reduced significantly as no positive change was found on vaginal dryness, a major cause of dyspareunia in postmenopausal period.

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