Do not use phytoestrogens for menopausal-related sexual symptoms.

Type of practice




There is no strong scientific evidence for the use of phytoestrogens in the treatment of menopausal-related sexual symptoms (e.g. hypoactive sexual desire disorder, excitement disorder, orgasmic disorder, dyspareunia, vaginismus) and/or hot flushes. Biological actions of these molecules can be affected by: multiple action sites, relative number of subtypes of receptors, different distribution among target tissues of functional co-activators and co-repressors, potential non-genomic action of estrogens even in cells without specific receptors. Phytoestrogens have the same general contraindications of on-label estrogen compounds.


1. Worsley R, Santoro N, Miller KK, Parish SJ, Davis SR. Hormones and Female Sexual Dysfunction: Beyond Estrogens and Androgens--Findings from the Fourth International Consultation on Sexual Medicine. J Sex Med 2016; 13: 283-90.
2. Stuenkel CA, Davis SR, Gompel A, Lumsden MA, Murad MH, Pinkerton JV, Santen RJ. Treatment of Symptoms of the Menopause: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015; 100: 3975-4011.
3. Wierman ME, Arlt W, Basson R, Davis SR, Miller KK, Murad MH, Rosner W, Santoro N. Androgen therapy in women: a reappraisal: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2014; 99: 3489-510.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.