Women whose menopause is medically induced or who have a pre-existing medical condition are more likely to experience severe or acute symptoms, a survey has suggested.
The UK study of 1,000 peri- to post-menopausal women, aged between 30 and 65, found 74% whose menopause is medically induced and 66% who had a pre-existing medical condition experienced severe or acute symptoms.
No one menopause experience was the same, and experience and severity of menopause symptoms could vary dramatically, depending on factors, such as personal circumstances and demographics, it said.
More than two-thirds (67%) of those who had symptoms for more than five years were also more likely to experience severe or acute symptoms, according to the research by menopause training and support provider Over The Bloody Moon and research insights agency Kantar.
Those with smaller networks and support and those who did not talk about menopause were more likely to describe symptoms as severe or unbearable, it added.
The emotional impact was cited as the most negative effect of menopause, with 67% of respondents reporting very or slightly negative emotions around mood and feelings.
Menopause and work
More than half (59%) reported lower self-confidence, and 57% a decline in mental health. A total of 79% of women who had experienced depression, trauma, or poor mental health felt a very negative effect to mood and feelings, while 83% women on anti-depressants experienced a negative impact on self-confidence and feelings, it added.
The severity of menopause symptoms study also looked at ways women were managing their menopause and satisfaction with these solutions. The most effective way women were managing symptoms was HRT, with 84% of women on HRT seeing improved results, it concluded.
Lesley Salem, founder of Over the Bloody Moon, said: “Thanks to our partnership with Kantar, we’ve been able to identify determining factors, such as people’s history and current circumstances that will influence whether their menopause is likely to be more or less challenging for them.
“This has huge implications for workplaces and healthcare professionals, as it means we can identify at-risk individuals and ensure they get early intervention and are encouraged to make lifestyle changes to manage their symptoms,” she added.