Those experiencing menopause can also suffer from low mood and anxiety.
A new pocket guide from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has been launched to help both professionals and patients understand and deal with the complex issues the menopause can cause.
‘Menopause and Mental Health’ was unveiled at a conference on women’s health on Wednesday, hosted by the RCN, and contains information on the signs and symptoms of menopause as well as the details on how it can impact upon a woman’s wider health and wellbeing.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 although around 1 in 100 women experience it before their 40’s – this is known as premature menopause and can have a greater impact on a woman’s mental health as recent studies have shown.
This pocket guide aims to bust the myths surrounding the menopause and the treatments that are linked to it. Sharing information on the impact it can have on women’s mental health it also encourages women to speak up and seek the right help and support.
Menopause still has a stigma.
Menopause still has a stigma surrounding it and part of the advice in this booklet is to encourage women to talk about it with their friends as well as health professionals.
Carmel Bagness, RCN Professional Lead for Midwifery and Women’s Health said: “Menopause is a natural part of living for many women, it affects some women profoundly whilst others can embrace the changes it brings. It is important that all women know they can discuss this with each other and with healthcare professionals.
“The menopause is still shrouded in mystery and stigma, and a reluctance to speak still exists. This does not help women, and in particular, those who have existing mental health issues, or who develop mental health related issues during the menopause. Nor does it help to build a better understanding of how care should be delivered to meet the needs of all women.
“We hope this new pocket guide will encourage greater openness, discussion and understanding and give all both nurses and women the information they need and help them to speak up when they need support.”