Have you ever wondered why some women are more likely to feel sad than other women? A recent research suggests that earlier menopause and lesser menstrual cycle over a lifespan can make a woman vulnerable to the risk of depression. The findings have revealed that longer duration of oestrogen exposure from the start of menstruation until the onset of menopause is considerably linked to reduced risk of depression during the transition to menopause and for up to 10 years after menopause.
"Women are more vulnerable to depressive symptoms during and after the menopause transition because of fluctuating hormone changes," said JoAnn Pinkerton, Executive Director at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) -- a US-based non-profit organisation.
"This study additionally found a higher risk for depression in those with earlier menopause, fewer menstrual cycles over lifespan or more frequent hot flashes," Pinkerton added.
Earlier studies have suggested a role for reproductive hormones in hiking the susceptibility of a woman to depression. However, the new study focused on the effect of estradiol, the predominant oestrogen present during the reproductive age. It controls the synthesis, availability and metabolism of serotonin- a key neurotransmitter in depression.
Fluctuations of estradiol during menopause transition are universal. The duration of exposure to estradiol throughout the adult life cycle varies widely among women, the researchers said in the paper published in the journal Menopause.
"Women and their providers need to recognize symptoms of depression such as mood changes, loss of pleasure, changes in weight or sleep, fatigue, feeling worthless, being unable to make decisions, or feeling persistently sad and take appropriate action," Pinkerton said.
The team conducted the study on 1,300 regularly menstruating pre-menopausal women aged 42 to 52 years for the study.
(With IANS Inputs)
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