Mental health effects of menopause
Half of women going through menopause experience mild depression, 63% lose their confidence, 80% experience brain fog, and 10% experience severe depression as a result of their menopausal symptoms.
These are just some of the results from DR.VEGAN's Annual Menopause Survey 2022 (1,000+ respondents), revealing over twenty symptoms of menopause, the effects of menopause, the use of HRT and the benefits of MenoFriend.* You can also download and print the results here.
These findings are helping shape and improve the way society supports women. Menopause impacts every person, family and employer and it's vital we provide the necessary support for women going through menopause.
Age of menopause
47 was reported as the average age for onset of menopausal symptoms and 46-50 is the most common age bracket.
Among 1,029 respondents, 34% were in perimenopause, 41% in menopause, 17% postmenopause, and 8% weren't aware what stage of menopause they were in.
DR.VEGAN's research shows menopause symptoms don't end earlier if they start earlier.
The results show that menopausal symptoms last longer for 'early onset menopause', with women still experiencing symptoms on average 13 years later if menopause began at age 40 or younger.
Top 10 symptoms of menopause
There are more than 20 menopausal symptoms reported and on average, women experience 10 symptoms of menopause.
More than 60% experienced joint pain, weight gain, low libido and bloating.
% of women experiencing symptoms
Our survey shows however that other symptoms can have a much greater impact on women's lives, both at home and at work.
Other common symptoms of menopause
Cold flushes, shivers, hair loss and hair thinning affect more than 30% of women, and changes in body odour, altered spatial awareness, tinnitus and itchy skin (formication) affect more than 20% of women going through menopause.
10% experienced PMS and urinary symptoms, gum disease, vaginal atrophy (VA) and electric shocks.
% of women experiencing symptoms
The effects of menopause symptoms
Whilst menopausal symptoms are well known, the effects of menopause are much less understood and our research highlights the need for society to do much more to support women.
Two thirds of women suffered a loss of confidence and half experienced mild depression as a result of their symptoms. 10% experienced severe depression or suicidal thoughts as a result of menopause, and 40% experience feeling inadequate, feelings of worthlessness, avoiding socialising due to debilitating symptoms and leading to a sense of isolation.
% of women impacted
The effects of menopause are real and wide-reaching. They impact society, family relationships, work and careers.
HRT and menopause
HRT has polarised opinion for many years due to concerns over potential side effects, and this is reflected in the survey results. Less than 20% of those surveyed take HRT, with 15% having taken it but have since stopped.
Is HRT effective?
A third of those who take HRT say it is effective or very effective. 43% say it is somewhat or a little effective, while a quarter of people who take HRT say it had no effect.
HRT provides relief from some symptoms and benefits for many people who choose to take it.
MenoFriend and menopause
736 of the 1,029 women surveyed use or have used MenoFriend.
88% of the 736 MenoFriend users enjoy relief from all or some of their symptoms.
86% take MenoFriend as a natural alternative to HRT, while 14% take MenoFriend alongside HRT.
Symptoms MenoFriend Provides Most Relief From
MenoFriend is an acclaimed plant-based formula of botanicals, phytoestrogens, minerals and vitamins that regulates your hormones to relieve symptoms of menopause. MenoFriend is a natural alternative to HRT but can also be taken alongside HRT.
Learn more about MenoFriend here.
How long does MenoFriend take to work?
The survey shows that amongst MenoFriend users, relief from symptoms are felt at about 3-4 weeks after starting the supplement.
The time it takes for MenoFriend, HRT or any remedy for menopausal symptoms to begin to relieve symptoms varies by individual. This is due to the differing symptoms experienced, stage of menopause, hormone imbalances and fluctuations, age, weight, diet, exercise, sleep and other lifestyle factors.
Service from GPs is 'poor'
Among those who had seen their GP about menopause, half (48%) rated the service they received as 'poor'. Only 2 in 10 said the service from their GP was good.
34% hadn't consulted their GP about their menopause.
Menopause in the workplace
80% of the women surveyed were in full or part-time work.
A third said that 'menopause symptoms have a significant effect' on their ability to work at their best.
1 in 10 said that their menopause symptoms had led them to take time off work.
Menopause is still a taboo subject in the workplace. Among those who had requested time off work due to menopausal symptoms, 50% felt they had to tell their employer it was for a different reason.
Are employers understanding of menopause?
Only 10% of women surveyed believe that employers provide enough support for employees going through menopause, and just 30% of women believe employers are understanding of how menopause affects them at work.
Here at DR.VEGAN we are committed to helping employers understand the effects of menopause and by doing so, improving the lives of their employees. The survey shows employers have a lot of work to do in this area!
The survey identified two clear priorities for employers who wish to provide support for women navigating menopause in the workplace:
- Provide education to all employees on menopause and how it affects women.
- Provide flexible working arrangements for those experiencing menopause.
Diet and menopause
40% of those surveyed who made changes to their diet during menopause said the changes helped to relieve symptoms. However, only 50% of women overall were aware that dietary changes could help with the relief of symptoms and had no idea of what those changes were.
Your diet can help and hormone health expert, Dr Katie Hodgkinson, explains how in her article which you can read here - 'Nutrition for the menopause'.
For more information on menopause and perimenopause head over to our 'Women's Health' section, or read more in these popular articles from our expert nutritionists:
- Nutrition for the menopause
- How to know if you're starting menopause
- Menopause and anxiety & mood swings
- Unusual symptoms of menopause
- Get menopause ready in your 30s
Download and print the results of our Annual Menopause Survey here.
If you have any questions about menopause, your symptoms, or our survey, we'd love to hear from you - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to hear more from our nutritionists to help you through menopause, sign up to our free newsletter:
About the survey
*A total of 1,029 responses were collected via a nationwide online survey in the UK between 14-27 March 2022. Responses were confidential and anonymous. Among the respondents, 34% were in peri-menopause, 41% were in menopause, 17% were post menopause, and 8% didn't know the stage of menopause they were in.