Has your beauty sleep been disrupted by hot flushes, anxiety and night sweats? If you are in your 40s or 50s, your recent changes in mood could be symptoms linked to the beginning of menopause, otherwise known as perimenopause.
Can menopause cause anxiety and depression?
Changes in mood during menopause and perimenopause is common.
Due to the fluctuations of hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone, some women may experience feelings of worsened anxiety and depression. Lower levels of hormones also coincide with lower levels of serotonin, a brain chemical associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. For some women, this will result in anxiety, sadness and increased irritability.
Research has shown that anxiety is closely associated with vasomotor symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats, which affect from 60% to 80% of all women in one study. The same study, which was conducted in Brazil and published in 2020, showed that up to 56% of perimenopausal women reported that they were experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Additionally, perimenopausal and menopausal women face a two to five-fold increased risk for developing clinical depression, according to two longtitudinal studies on the link between depression and the menopause transition.
It is also worth noting that most women begin to experience menopause sometime during their 40s or 50s, a time period that can be associated with highly stressful life events like adolescent children and aging parents. This, along with poor sleep, which can result from persistent vasomotor symptoms, can also lead to low moods and feelings of helplessness.
Some women also experience brain fog, a collective term for poor concentration, struggling to recall information and a general feeling that your mind is not operating at maximum capacity.
Treatment for anxiety for women undergoing menopause
Fortunately, there is a range of treatment options available for perimenopausal and menopausal women suffering from anxiety.
Women who prefer a non-medicated approach may benefit from lifestyle changes, such as a change of diet, some exercise, practising mindfulness and the cessation of smoking. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which helps your body replace the oestrogen it has stopped making may also help alleviate your symptoms. Some women opt for a combination of lifestyle changes and HRT to combat anxiety during menopause.
An informed decision for dealing with anxiety during menopause can be made with the help of your primary care doctor.
How Osler Health can help
At Osler Health, we have doctors who have supported women with anxiety during menopause in Singapore for many years.
We also offer menopausal health assessments where one of our dedicated doctors will walk you through the changes your body is undergoing and give you professional advice on how to manage these changes. If necessary, our doctors will also prescribe follow-up care. We have female doctors who manage our women’s clinic to support females through this life stage.
Anxiety during menopause is natural but if it is having a debilitating effect on your life, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Osler Health is here for you and known for its experience in menopause . We have two clinics conveniently located in central Singapore, at the Star Vista and Raffles Hotel Arcade, which are easy to access via public and private transportation.
Have queries or need help scheduling an appointment? You can contact us via phone call or email and one of our friendly reception staff will be happy to assist you.