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Mood changes and depression

Three mature women exercisingThis page provides information for women, their partners and families about mood changes and depression during menopause and later life.

Mood changes

The menopause can lead to changes in your mood, anxiety and lower energy. This is due to your body adjusting to the decline in levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Lack of sleep due to night sweats may also lead to mood swings.

At this time of your life there may also be other factors, coinciding with the menopause, that affect your mood. These could include children growing up and leaving home, looking after ageing parents or other relatives, or facing the loss of your parents.

Depression

Mood changes that occur as a result of menopause should not be confused with depression. Depression is a much more serious condition in which very low mood is constant for a longer periods of time, around two weeks or more.

The risk of depression can increase during the menopause. You should seek help if you or those around you feel you are suffering more than mood swings. If you are concerned, speak with your GP about how you are feeling.

Find out more about mood changes and depression

The following links provide information about mood changes, how to recognise depression during menopause and how it can be treated:

Making a choice about your treatment

There will be choices to make about the type of treatment you wish to receive. You will probably have a lot of questions and may wish to discuss your options with family and friends. To begin with, try to get answers to three key questions:

  • What are my options?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
  • How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?

For more information about working with your healthcare professional to make the right choice for you, please visit the NHS Shared Decision Making website.

About the links on this page

Some of the information this page links to  is not produced by the RCOG. Our policy on publishing links to third-party sites outlines how we decide which sites to link to, and our terms and conditions include a disclaimer about the RCOG’s responsibility for information on linked sites.

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