"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A trial looking at folic acid for women having postmenopausal symptoms (FOAM)
This trial was done to find out if folic acid could help manage hot flushes in women who have been through the menopause. It was for women who had breast cancer or endometrial (womb) cancer, as well as women who didn’t have cancer.
This trial was open for people to join between 2015 and 2019. The team published the results in 2021.
More about this trial
Hot flushes are a common symptom of menopause. They are caused by a drop in the level of a female hormone called oestrogen.
Doctors often treat hot flushes in post menopausal women with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). But they are looking at other ways to manage hot flushes in women who’ve had treatment for breast cancer. In this trial they were looking at folic acid.
The main aim of this trial was to find out if folic acid could help control hot flushes in women who have been through the menopause.
Summary of results
This trial was for women who had been through the menopause and were having hot flushes.
They were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups at random. Half took folic acid tablets every day for 3 months. And half took dummy (placebo) tablets every day for 3 months.
A total of 164 women joined this trial. They were put into a treatment group:
- 83 had folic acid tablets
- 81 had dummy (placebo) tablets
The research team asked the women taking part how many hot flushes they were having before, during and after the trial.
The number of hot flushes went down in both groups. It went down a little more for the people who had folic acid. But the difference wasn’t big enough to say for sure whether it was because of the folic acid. It may have been chance.
The research team concluded that they were unable to say whether folic acid tablets helped with hot flushes in women who’d been through the menopause.
They suggest a larger trial is done to find out more.
More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below.
Please note, this article is not in plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.
Folic acid supplementation in postmenopausal women with hot flushes: phase III randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial
A Ewies and other
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Published online, May 2021.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Mr Ayman Ewies
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
University of Birmingham