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Women's health

How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health and Wellbeing?

 Fri May 03 2024

Reading time : 6 mins

Menopause can affect women differently. It can bring on emotional changes for many women. It can feel like a solo journey, but you are never alone. It is essential to highlight why we must get the care we need to get through the process.

Research shows us that those who are more emotionally sensitive during hormonal shifts earlier in life can have challenging mood changes during menopause as well. Those who have experienced Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) or prior depression at any point are at higher risk of challenging mood changes later during menopause.

If you are in this season of life, what lifestyle changes do you need right now as your body changes? Are you being heard? Are you receiving the care you need?

Menopause is quite a ride. We all need someone who takes us seriously, listens to us, and helps us navigate this journey. You deserve respectful care.

In this blog, we will explore how menopause affects your mental health and well-being.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is the transformative phase of every woman's journey. However, it is often misunderstood and overlooked. Let’s start by understanding what menopause is.

Menopause can be defined as the period when a woman no longer experiences menstruation, which is accompanied by the loss of ovarian follicular activity. Now, what is Follicular activity? It is the loss of ovulation. Menopause is said to have occurred once a woman experiences 12 consecutive months of Amenorrhea.

Now, what is Amenorrhea? It is the absence of a menstrual period. During menopause, this halting of menstruation is caused by non-pathological oestrogen deficiency. During this process, women may experience changes in their monthly cycles or begin to experience symptoms as they go through the transition of m-enopause, also known as “perimenopause”.

Symptoms of Menopause

Each woman may have a unique set of symptoms. While some people experience fewer, milder symptoms, others deal with more severe, frequent problems. Common Menopause symptoms and indicators are as follows.

  • Hot Flashes

  • Vaginal atrophy

  • Weight Gain

  • Joint Aches and Pains

  • Feeling Cold

  • Deteriorating Eye Site

  • Fluid Retention

  • Hair growth

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Mood swings

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

Effects of Menopause

Some women won’t experience any of these effects, some just a few, but others will experience lots of these effects. With menopause hitting a woman’s body, their bone density also starts to weaken because of the dropped oestrogen levels. Hence, a woman needs to take care of their bone strength right from childhood. Also, a proper diet with sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium is suggested to avoid osteoporosis, a bone-weakening condition during menopause.

Hormonal changes in a woman’s body during menopause can affect weight and appetite, and the hunger hormone may play a role in this process.

Increased Ghrelin Levels: Some studies suggest that ghrelin levels can increase during menopause. Higher ghrelin levels can lead to increased feelings of hunger and a greater tendency to consume more calories.

Changes in Body Composition: Menopause is associated with a shift in body composition, with an increased tendency to gain weight, especially around the abdomen. These are attributed to changes in adipocytokine levels during menopause.

Metabolism and Energy Expenditure: The hormonal changes in menopause can also affect metabolism and energy expenditure. Increasing ghrelin might reduce energy expenditure and make it easier to gain weight.

Emotional Eating: Fluctuating hormonal levels duringmenopause can keep you hungry all the time. This can be a challenging time emotionally, and some women may experience emotional disturbances or mood swings in addition to this.

Each woman’s experience during menopause is unique, and hormones' impact on weight and appetite can vary. Regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and consulting with a healthcare provider can help manage the effects of hormonal changes during menopause.

Personal Impact of Symptoms on Daily Life

We have learned about some of the physical symptoms of menopause. Let’s now examine some of the social and personal impacts that can be experienced. Menopause is a significant life transition, so it is natural to feel the effect of this change in various aspects of your social life. Symptoms may be distressing to go through, and women may find it more challenging to cope with daily stress. Changes to one’s body can also impact women’s self-image and their perceptions of others in society. 20-30% of women describe that menopause-related symptoms reduce their job performance.

Does Menopause Impact Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder has been demonstrated to worsen during menopause. Researchers find that many women with bipolar disorder are more sensitive to changes in hormones after menopause, even though the biochemistry causing the reaction is still unclear. Women with bipolar disorder report experiencing more depressed episodes at menopause than women without the illness. The typical menopausal decline in the hormone oestrogen is at least partially to blame for this.

Does Menopause Impact Schizophrenia?

It has been demonstrated that estrogen has significant neuroprotective and psychological effects. It has been demonstrated that a decrease may worsen mental illnesses, particularly psychotic ones. Because of this, scientists now think that there might be a connection between female psychosis and estrogen levels.

Women who already have a history of chronic schizophrenia may see a worsening of their condition and perhaps a greater need for treatment. In addition, antipsychotic effectives of the medications decline after menopause to add to the problem. Perimenopause appears to increase the chance of schizophrenia psychoses developing for the first time. Schizophrenia usually first manifests in young adulthood, although in women, it peaks around menopause. Studies have indicated that a decrease in estrogen levels could influence specific neurotransmitters in the brain, perhaps worsening symptoms of schizophrenia during this hormonal shift.

Getting over the Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause's side effects, both psychological and physical, might seem overpowering. Medical consultation is required to decide on the course of the treatment. The medical history and the severity of your symptoms may determine whether hormone replacement therapy is a good fit for your symptoms. The purpose of this treatment is to restore and hormonal imbalance.

You might be able to get both short and long-term relief from menopause symptoms through hormonal replacement therapy. Doctors have several ways to provide your body with hormones, such as:

  • Creams/Gels

  • Tablets/Pellets

  • Patches/spray

  • Oral medications

Taking Care of Mental Health during Menopause

Menopause can cause depression or anxiety and worsening of existing psychological symptoms such as psychosis. Females who have had a history of depression, during postpartum, are at higher risk of feeling depressed during menopause. Some experience depression for the first time during menopause and the hormonal imbalance during menopause can act as a trigger.

Menopause doesn't have to be a mental health rollercoaster! Discover effective strategies here to navigate emotional changes and maintain your well-being.

Help to Seek Professional Guidance

Visiting a gynaecologist when you experience worrying symptoms is vital, as only a professional can guide you through such significant life changes. There are symptoms that women can experience in their sexual lives that they might not be comfortable to discuss with everyone around them. Having a gynaecologist expert opinion makes the process a lot easier.

Open up to your good friends

Women going through menopause often have a tough time due to the behavioural, cognitive, and physical changes that they are experiencing. Having a support system by their side who can just listen to them can be a true blessing. Therefore, choose a reliable friend among your close ones to share your feelings.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy, balanced dietwith calcium supplements and an active lifestyle can be good stress management techniques, helping women deal with their symptoms much better and lessen their intensity to a certain degree.

Be Ready for the Symptoms

Symptoms like hot flashes are inevitable, so preparing for them is wise. An excellent way to do so is to keep a hand-held fan or a pack of ice to go.

Relax, Relax, and Relax

Good sleep and relaxing exercises with mindfulness can go a long way in making yourself feel better through the process of menopause.

Educate Yourself More

Awareness of the symptoms can help you understand yourself better. Educate yourself about what you are going through. This will help you understand the treatment choices available to make informed decisions.

Get Help with Our GP

To think any woman is suffering in silence due to a natural, inevitable life transition is heartbreaking. True advocacy for women's health starts by empowering them to make informed decisions about their own well-being. Don't hesitate to talk to us - it can make all the difference in getting the care you need. is a progressive private GP in London that offers mental support and advice to women who want to embrace this life transition seamlessly. Experience women's healthcare differently. Our clinic provides compassionate and comprehensive health and mental care, putting you at the centre.We create a supportive, comfortable, and safe space for the women through our care teamwith openness and honest communication.

Didn't you schedule an in-person visit to see our GP for your menopause visit? You need to plan your visit as soon as possible!