Menopause marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and is officially diagnosed after a continuous absence of menstruation for 12 months. While the average age of menopause is 51, variations do exist. Therefore, in some women, it may occur earlier or later.
Symptoms of menopause can occur months or years in advance of the actual halt of menstruation and usually consist of the following:
Naturally, these symptoms can vary in each woman, resulting in a wide range of experiences and varying degrees of intensity of these symptoms. Besides these above-mentioned physical symptoms, there are also psychological symptoms that may be experienced, such as:
To further elaborate on the effects of menopause on mental health, evidence was found that women are more likely to experience panic attacks during and after menopausal transition. Furthermore, studies have also concluded that women are more likely to suffer from major depressive episodes during menopause. Additionally, women going through menopausal transition have been found to exacerbate existing mental health issues, for instance, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, due to the depleting levels of oestrogen.
As mentioned above, the symptoms of menopause are related to the change in levels of the female reproductive hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinising hormone. However, the symptoms are not fully explained by them. Other factors, such as stress levels and lifestyle, can influence these symptoms.
Psychological symptoms, like physical symptoms of menopausal transition, can be experienced differently by all women. Consequently, there is more than one way to tackle the symptoms, which can be understandingly frustrating. However, to safeguard your mental health during the menopausal transition, no matter the extent to which you experience the symptoms, it is recommended to:
If the menopausal symptoms become too severe and interfere with your daily life, feel free to reach out for assistance. At Incontact, our team of skilled professionals is here to support you in adjusting to this new phase of life and guide you through the transition.
How menopause affects your mental health (no date) How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health: The Association for Women’s Health Care: OB/GYNs. Available at: https://www.chicagoobgyn.com/blog/how-menopause-affects-your-mental-health (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
Information around the symptoms of Menopause (no date) NHS inform. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/signs-and-symptoms-of-menopause (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
Menopause (2023) Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
Menopause and mental health (2020) Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/menopause-and-mental-health (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
Menopause and your mental wellbeing (no date) NHS inform. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/menopause-and-your-mental-wellbeing (Accessed: 14 August 2023).
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