Perimenopausal Women May Face Higher Depression Risk – Study Reveals

The most common depression women experience is postpartum depression, however, studies have shown that women also experience depression in their perimenopause phase.

Perimenopause is the time around menopause when the ovaries gradually stop working. It usually occurs around 3 to 5 years before the onset of menopause.

During perimenopause, menopause like symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings are likely to occur.

A new study by UCL researchers reveal that women are 40% more likely to experience depression in perimenopause than those who aren’t experiencing any menopausal symptoms

The research, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, provided a meta-analysis of seven studies involving 9,141 women from across the world (including Australia, USA, China, Netherlands and Switzerland), to understand whether different stages of the menopause were associated with different risk of depression.

The researchers found that perimenopausal women had a significantly higher risk (around 40%) of experiencing depressive symptoms and being diagnosed with depression compared to premenopausal women.

There was no significant increase in depression risk for post-menopausal women compared to those who were premenopausal.

Symptoms were measured using, international standardized self-report instruments, including the Patient Health Questionnaire PHQ-9 (which considers factors such as a lack of interest in doing things, issues with sleep, mood swings ).

These findings emphasize the importance of acknowledging that women in this life-stage are more vulnerable to experiencing depression.

It also underlines the need to provide support and screening for women to help address their mental health needs effectively.

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