- Campaigners argue menopause is a biological issue that only affects women
Talking therapy is now being recommended by health watchdogs to deal with the menopause.
But regulators have been accused of risking ‘confusion’ by suggesting the treatment to address symptoms in trans men and non-binary individuals as well as women.
Bosses at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said GPs should recommend cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as an option to help reduce hot flushes and night sweats, signs of depression and sleeping problems.
Commonly used to treat mental health issues, it should be an option alongside, or as an alternative to, hormone replacement therapy, Nice said.
Doctors should also explain the benefits and risks of HRT, which can vary based on factors such as the patient’s age and health history, the guidelines recommend.
Regulators have been accused of risking ‘confusion’ by suggesting the treatment to address symptoms in trans men and non-binary individuals as well as women
But the medicines watchdog is facing accusations of wokery after including trans men and ‘non-binary people registered female at birth’ alongside women.
Campaigners argue menopause is a biological phenomenon that can only happen in women and the guidelines ‘risk confusion’.
Karen Varley, founder of Conservatives For Women, said: ‘No doubt Nice think they are being kind and ‘inclusive’ but creating lists of irrelevant identities risks confusion and dilution of what should be a clear message about health; it is your sex that matters.
‘Only women go through the menopause, and denying you are a woman will not change that fact.’
Menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is a natural part of ageing. It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, with symptoms including changes to the menstrual cycle, mood swings, hot flushes and trouble sleeping.
Nice said evidence for the effects of CBT on hot flushes and night sweats was found to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms as well as the extent to which they bothered women, trans men and non-binary people registered female at birth.
Campaigners argue menopause is a biological phenomenon that can only happen in women and the guidelines ‘risk confusion’
Professor Gillian Baird, menopause guideline committee chairman, said: ‘This update includes important evidence based information to help both women and healthcare practitioners during their discussions about the best treatment to manage their symptoms.
‘This gives women more choice and enables them to make informed decisions for their own personal circumstances.’
But GP and menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson described the guidelines as ‘disappointing’