Menopause is the time in your life during which you stop getting menstrual periods and can no longer get pregnant. During menopause and perimenopause, which includes the years leading up to menopause, your body produces lower levels of certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone.
Hormonal changes related to menopause can cause a variety of symptoms. For example, they can lead to physical symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Menopause can also affect your mental health. Although not all women experience menopause symptoms, it’s good to know about potential issues so you can get help for them if you need it.
The providers at Premier Women's Care of Southwest Florida would like to share the following information with you about the ways in which menopause could affect your mental health.
The hormonal changes of menopause can lead to feelings of irritability, sadness, and worry. They may lead to or worsen depression or anxiety.
You can reduce routine moodiness by getting enough sleep, reducing stress, exercising, and making time to do things you enjoy. If mood problems are serious or persistent, be sure to talk with your doctor. Temporary treatment with antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications could help.
Memory and concentration troubles
Can’t find your keys? Forgot about that dentist appointment? Having trouble focusing on that report your boss asked you to compile? Don’t worry: Memory and concentration problems are quite common during this time. In fact, as many as two-thirds of women going through perimenopause say they have problems with memory or trouble focusing.
To cope with memory lapses, make use of scheduling tools and other memory aids. Record appointments in a datebook, set reminder alarms on your phone, and use sticky notes to remember to mail the mortgage payment. And don’t worry that you’re getting dementia: Rarely are menopausal memory problems a sign of a serious problem.
As for concentration, you can improve your focus by reducing distractions, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and practicing meditation.
Fatigue and insomnia
Falling levels of the hormone progesterone can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Low estrogen levels can trigger hot flashes, which can wake you up from a sound sleep. And bladder issues related to menopause can cause you to wake up frequently during the night to urinate.
Over time, having trouble getting the sleep you need can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and can worsen any problems you may be having with your mood, memory, or concentration.
To improve sleep, institute a relaxing bedtime routine, make sure your room is cool and dark for sleeping, and avoid large meals, alcohol, caffeine, and excessive water intake before bed.
Get help for menopause-related symptoms
If menopause is interfering with your mental health, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida offers a range of treatments that can minimize symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (patches and pills), as well as plant-based supplements, treatment for incontinence, and advice on lifestyle changes that can offer symptom relief.
To learn more, call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, or book an appointment online.