Many aging women face depression and anxiety in their 40s because of perimenopause. Many don’t realize that hormone therapy can be an effective treatment option that can ease those mood swings and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with hormonal changes.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a transitional period for aging women that can start anywhere from 3-5 years before menopause. Perimenopause typically begins in a woman’s 40s and starts when menstrual cycles become irregular. About 1/3 of women experience depressive symptoms and mood shifts during this time as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and
Mood Swings in Perimenopausal Women
Doctors do not always screen for perimenopausal symptoms, so it is important that you be open and honest with your doctor about any depressive symptoms or anxiety you have been feeling. Women who have previously had hormone-related mood swings and/or mental health problems are especially at risk of perimenopausal mood swings. It’s also important to note that mood swings in your 40s are not always the result of perimenopause; stress and other outlying factors should be considered.
To account for this possibility of anxiety, depression, and mood swings being related to other causes, antidepressants are often the first course of treatment. These are often beneficial for women who have previously been treated for mood disorders, but they are not always effective and can cause other negative side effects. If mood swings persist, hormone therapy is a newer and lesser-known option that can provide great improvements for perimenopausal depression.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Bioidenitical hormone therapy (BHRT) evens out and replenishes hormone levels with bioidentical hormones administered through a skin patch, pill, or pellet therapy. At Carnegie Women’s Health, we rely on a form of pellet therapy called BioTE. A small pellet with a customized compound of hormones will be inserted just under the skin and slowly absorbed into the body. As the hormones are absorbed by your body, hormone levels are replenished and perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms improve.
Studies have found that BHRT can lower perimenopausal anxiety and depression while combatting other symptoms like low energy, hot flashes, decreased libido and migraines. About 2/3 of women respond positively to hormone therapy.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in hormone therapy for your perimenopausal symptoms, it is important to first consult with your doctor to determine whether you are a candidate. Schedule a consultation at Carnegie Women’s Health and let our expert OB/GYNs help guide you through perimenopause so that you feel great as you age.