Pharmacological menopause, induced for example in the treatment of certain types of breast cancer, does not differ from physiological menopause – explains Andrea Sagona, breast surgeon at Humanitas Cancer Center – not even in the symptoms that, on the contrary, can sometimes naturally be even more intense than physiological menopause. Although pharmacological menopause manifests itself with the same symptoms as physiological menopause, i.e. flushing, irritability, insomnia, vaginal dryness and pain during sexual intercourse, memory reduction and joint pain, the way in which these symptoms can be addressed is different:
Flushing, i.e. vasomotor symptoms, may be alleviated with the administration of a medication, venlafaxine, although it may have undesirable effects of gastrointestinal type, migraine, or phytoestrogens of plant origin, for example from soy, although with less efficacy than hormonal replacement therapy.
Vaginal atrophy, also called vaginal dryness, can be treated for short periods with locally administered estrogens (in this way the absorption of estrogen hormones is limited), or, if the period of pharmacological menopause is prolonged, laser therapy can be used.
Arthralgia, i.e. joint pain, acupuncture has been shown to be effective.
On the other hand, the time it takes for menopause to manifest itself is different: quickly, in pharmacological medicine; more slowly, even a few years, in physiological manner.