How Does Menopause Affect Your Emotions?

How Does Menopause Affect Your Emotions?

Menopause is a normal life stage for a woman, marking the end of her fertility. Unfortunately, the hormonal changes that occur before and during menopause have a major impact on physical and emotional well-being. 

At Speck Hopkins, MD in Harlingen, Texas, our medical expert, Dr. Lena Speck Hopkins, specializes in managing women’s health as they go through each stage of life, including menopause. 

Though each woman’s menopause experience is unique, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster during this time of your life. One minute you’re happy and fine, the next you’re crying.

In this blog post, we want to explain how menopause may affect your emotions and the steps you can take to regain control. 

The many functions of estrogen

Estrogen is a sex hormone that plays a central role in women’s reproductive health. Like other hormones, estrogen is a chemical messenger that tells your reproductive organs what to do. 

Though estrogen assists in the development of sexual characteristics like breasts, it’s primary function is management of the menstrual cycle. Estrogen works along with another hormone, called progesterone, to regulate your reproductive cycle.

But estrogen does more than keep your period regular. This sex hormone also affects cholesterol and blood sugar levels, bone and muscle health, and brain function, including production of brain chemicals that influence mood — like serotonin. 

Menopause and your emotions

Estrogen affects your brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that supports many body functions, including your mood. When serotonin levels are high, you feel happy. During menopause, serotonin levels drop, causing you to feel more anxious, sad, and irritable. 

Your fluctuating hormone levels cause unexpected mood changes that influence how you cope with normal everyday things. Hormonal changes may also trigger episodes of depression, especially in women with a history of the mood disorder.

Menopause also affects your ability to get an adequate amount of sleep. This is partly due to hormonal fluctuations and partly due to the other symptoms you may have during menopause, like night sweats. 

The combination of low serotonin levels and lack of sleep can exacerbate your emotional turmoil. 

Getting off the emotional roller coaster

Yes, menopause is a normal part of a woman’s aging process. Yes, you may have uncomfortable symptoms during the “change of life,” but there’s no need to suffer through it.

There are many effective treatments that can help you get through menopause so it doesn’t interrupt how you live your life. For mood changes like depression and anxiety, we offer prescription medications to improve these symptoms. 

We also offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and Pure Encapsulations® dietary supplements, as well as guidance on lifestyle changes to manage overall health.

Menopause affects your health in many ways, including your emotional well-being. But we can help you regain control of your emotions and your health. For expert menopause care from an experienced women’s health physician, call our office at 956-264-1600. 

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