What is menopause in bipolar disorder?

Menopause is a natural phase of life for women, marked by hormonal change on average at around 51 years of age, with earlier onset being associated with greater physical symptom severity and poorer psychosocial functioning. Mood symptoms are known to be common throughout the menopause transition period.

Women living with a chronic mental illness may experience increased or additional symptoms during menopause. Women with bipolar disorder may be at a particularly increased risk of exacerbation of symptoms, given the episodic nature of the condition and the variety of factors that trigger episodes such as sleep disruptions and stressful life events.

What is the evidence on the effects of menopause in women with bipolar disorder?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests menopause, particularly in the later stages, is associated with worsening mood symptoms in about half of women with the disorder.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 11:36 am, 1st November 2021
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