Study says popular PMS treatment useless

In recent years, the medical and pharmaceutical industries have tried hard to create an entire category of "women's diseases." Often, they take perfectly normal female body functions such as menstruation and menopause, and consider them diseases or conditions requiring medical intervention.

However, studies are providing clear evidence that medical science has little understanding of these normal functions — and their treatments don't work.

A case in point is a research study published in the British Medical Journal which examined the use of the hormone progesterone or progestogens (a group of drugs similar to progesterone) to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The conclusion they came up with is that such treatments are unlikely to be effective, despite their popularity in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Researchers at Keele University reviewed 14 trials of progesterone or progestogen therapy, involving more than 900 women with premenstrual syndrome. They found no evidence to support the claimed effectiveness of progesterone. They went on to suggest that progestogens are also unlikely to be effective in the management of premenstrual syndrome.

This is not surprising, as there is reliable data to refute the theory that premenstrual syndrome is caused by a progesterone deficiency in the first place, said the authors.

There is no convincing evidence to support the continued prescription of progesterone or progestogens for the management of premenstrual syndrome, they concluded.

SOURCE: "Efficacy of progesterone and progestogens in management of premenstrual syndrome: systematic review," British Medical Journal, No 7316 Volume 323, Oct. 4, 2001.

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