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Minerva Ginecologica 2005 October;57(5):551-6


language: Italian

The effects of phytoestrogen therapy on the endometrium in postmenopausal women

Caserta L., Caserta R., MTorella M., Nappo C., De Lucia D., Panariello S.


Aim. The purpose of the present study was to carry out a comparative histological analysis of the endometrium in postmenopausal women who made use of phytoestrogens in order to assess the efficacy and possible side effects of this therapy.
Methods. This study was carried out by forming 2 groups in order to compare the results. One group was given a dietary supplement of phytoestrogens for 24 months, whereas the other was given a placebo for the same period of time. At the beginning of this study endometrial bioptical samples were taken from those patients who had been previously selected at our University Centre. This study was started only with those postmenopausal patients whose bioptical sample was histologically suitable, and it was neither hyperplastic, nor cancerous and nor secretive. During these 24 months there have been frequent contacts aimed at verifying the standard therapeutic behaviour, symptoms and appearance of side effects. At the end of the study new and final bioptical samples of endometrium were taken from both groups.
Results. One-hundred and forty-one patients completed the study. Five patients (3.4%) who were submitted to phytoestrogens therapy showed a weak proliferative endometrium bioptical sample. All the other biopsies at the biginning and at the end of the study showed an atrophic and inactive sample. Hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and dyspareunia improved at the end of the study for the group treated with phytoestrogens as compared to the one treated with a placebo. Although there have not been very significant differences ias to symptoms and side effects, it was noted that insomnia was the most common symptom in the group treated with non-hormonal therapy based on phytoestrogens.
Conclusion. Phytoestrogens did not cause any sensitive and worrisome stimulation of the endometrial mucosa. Insomnia was more frequent in the group treated pharmacologically in the 24 months of the study, whereas hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and dyspareunia persisted or increased as compared to the beginning of the study in the group treated with a placebo, but this did not occur for the group treated with phytoestrogens.

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