Researchers are highlighting the multiple risk factors present at this age in life: recent separation, alcohol consumption or having suffered from a mental illness in the past.
As menopause approaches, many women experience some form of blues and even depression. The drop in hormone production leads to various symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, loss of libido, etc. According to research published in Menopause, The North American Menopause Society, these factors increase the risk of depression, but there are other contributing factors, such as fear of death or the medical history of women.
Risk of age-related depression
Researchers estimate that 70% of women suffer from depression by the time they enter menopause. In this new research, 41% of women reported experiencing some form of depression. This lower rate could be explained by the relatively low average age in this sample: 56.3 years. A total of 485 Turks participated in the research. The researchers asked them to answer questionnaires about their overall mental state, to identify risk factors, including their level of anxiety.
Many risk factors
Risk factors emerged from these analyzes being a widow, or separated from her partner, suffering from a physical handicap, alcohol consumption, taking medication continuously, having more than 4 children or having suffered from mental problems previously. According to scientists, all these factors increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women. “Women and the health professionals who care for them should be aware that the transition to menopause is a period of vulnerable mood,” said Stéphanie Faubion, medical director of The North American Menopause Society.
Supporting women during menopause
This study recalls that the symptoms of menopause are many and varied, this fall in the production of hormones does not only have physical consequences on health, even if they are numerous. Half of postmenopausal women suffer from hot flashes, night sweats and sometimes sleep disturbances. Others are embarrassed by various pains, some feel particularly tired. These different disorders can be relieved either by hormone replacement therapy or by alternative medicines, such as herbal medicine. According to the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians, half of women suffer from bothersome symptoms during menopause.
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