Could Early Menopause Be Triggering Your Depression?
A recent study in JAMA Psychiatry concluded that there is a significant link between the early onset of menopause and later years of depression. The authors found potentially that the longer we are exposed to hormones increases the positive impact our brains, therefore decreasing vulnerability to depression years after menopause.
Since estrogen has been proven to have natural producing anti-depression effects, researchers wanted to determine if previous studies and medical findings would establish a causative link or risk between reduction of naturally producing estrogen and the onset of depression.
A controlled review of over 12,000 documents and findings of more than 67,000 women in 14 studies was conducted. To insure consistency of the study, the researchers defined depression stats by controls such as psychiatric evaluation with validated instruments, age at menopause and duration of the reproductive period.
What the researchers found indicates there was a statistically significant increase in depression when a woman experiences early onset of menopause while chances decrease with increasing age of cessation of menstrual periods. Since the median age of final menstruation is known to be 52.5 years of age with 90% of women having their final menstrual period by 56, this review demonstrates that the longer the person experiences menstruation the less likely they will have depression associated with the lack of estrogen and hormones in later years.
This gives rise to health care providers need to monitor and discuss depression with their early peri-menopause patients. From this research, one can conclude that there is a potential impact of estrogen and reproductive hormones on the central nervous system that can surface years after these exposures cease. Especially at risk would be women who begin menopause at 40 until the age of 52. Whether prematurely begun from a surgical intervention or a natural occurrence, your OB-GYN should consider discussing hormone replacement therapy to see if you are a candidate for oral hormone treatment or natural hormone replacement. If you are in need of a physician to access your symptoms, you can contact Dr. Stan Shoemaker, Corpus Christi OBGYN, to discuss treatment. His office can be contacted at 361-929-7088.
Additionally, women and men may experience a drop in hormones such as testosterone, leading also to depression, moodiness and other sex–related symptoms. Dr. Stan Shoemaker of Innovations in Women’s/Men’s Health, has provided his patients with a new therapy to treat this problem. It is called BioTE and has a remarkable effect on patients testing with low levels of certain hormones. If you think you may be a candidate for this or other hormone replacement therapy in the Corpus Christi, Beeville or Kingsville, Texas area, a quick check-list may help you determine your symptoms.
See how our patients have benefitted in this short testimonial on the treatment.
For more information or to schedule your private consultation please call our office at 361-929-7088.
- Georgakis MK, Thomopoulos TP, Diamantaras A, et al. Association of Age at Menopause and Duration of Reproductive Period with Depression After Menopause: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2653.
- Joffe H, Bromberger JT. Shifting Paradigms About Hormonal Risk Factors for Postmenopausal Depression: Age at Menopause as an Indicator of Cumulative Lifetime Exposure to Female Reproductive Hormones. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2701.