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What kinds of emotions may I experience during menopause?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Menopause can bring negative feelings about getting older or disappointments in how one's life has turned out. Also, negative emotions or sad feelings can come from the reality of not being able to have children anymore. At this midlife stage, negative emotions can also come from unhappy relationships or not having a life partner or established relationship.

On the other hand, as the North American Menopause Society points out, a positive outlook toward the challenges and changes of menopause can yield positive results, helping women find a sense of freedom and growth at this time of life. Many women feel relieved when monthly periods end and the worry of birth control and pregnancy are gone. This doesn't happen to all women, but this change of life can actually be very liberating. Your sexuality and femininity are still a part of who you are and many women feel more positive sexually.

Just as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can trigger chocolate cravings and crankiness, fluctuating hormone levels can cause emotional symptoms, too. Sadness, irritability, fatigue, anxiety, and aggressiveness are some of the feelings that can crop up along your journey. While most women go through menopause without serious emotional health issues, about 20-25% will experience depression. If you had mood swings before your monthly periods or if you had depression after giving birth, you may be more prone to mood issues during menopause. However, as the North American Menopause Society points out, a positive outlook toward the challenges and changes of menopause can help women find a sense of freedom and personal growth at this time of life. It is important to know that depression is not a normal state of mind and that clinical help is available. If you think you have signs of depression, talk to your doctor or a counselor.

Take the RealAge Test!

Dr. Shelley C. Giebel, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Often women feel relieved that they can't get pregnant. Not only that, children may be out of the home and you finally achieve that privacy you so longed for. Finances may be more secure and less stress is felt. Insecurities and inhibitions disappear because they just don't seem so important. What a great time in life!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.