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Mental health implications of VMS

Transcript: VMS and mental health

Last updated:21st May 2024
Published:21st May 2024

Dr Juliana (Jewel) Kling

All transcripts are created from interview footage and directly reflect the content of the interview at the time. The content is that of the speaker and is not adjusted by Medthority.


I'm so glad that we're talking about mental health because the impact that is seen during perimenopause and menopause to women is fairly significant. It's a time of vulnerability because of the fluctuating hormones and just all the symptoms associated.
Now, vasomotor symptoms are the hallmark symptom of menopause. But many women during that period do experience mood changes, whether that's anxiety, depression, irritability, many of those symptoms are reported. Women that have had past experiences like episode of major depression disorder or anxiety disorder or postpartum depression, those women are more likely or more vulnerable to experience those symptoms during menopause. But we clearly see an increase in those symptoms, and so it's so important for us to be acknowledging them and then talking about treatment options. There was a question about socioeconomic burden. And you know, I touched on that women of colour, Black women, marginalised women, are less likely to be on treatment for their vasomotor symptoms, but we also see for multiple different reasons that they may be at higher risk of having these symptoms in the first place. Whether that's vasomotor symptoms or the kind of mood changes that occur during menopause.
Whether that's related to race and ethnicity or more related to socioeconomic, or other cultural factors is not completely clear. A recent study came out that suggested that there may be a component of race and/or ethnicity that influences that, but likely it's a combination of everything including adverse childhood experiences or just adversity that women have faced. So, I think it's just important to call out that there's groups of women that may be more profoundly impacted by menopause, and unfortunately those are the women that have less access to the treatments.

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