Risk of Depression Increases During Perimenopause

As women transition through perimenopause, their risk of depression increases significantly. Researchers followed 644 women who aged 36 to 44 years with no history of depression and no other risk factors for depression in order to assess their risk for experiencing an initial onset of depression as they entered menopause. For women who had vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats), the risk for depression was twice that of the perimenopausal women without symptoms and more than six times that of premenopausal women. For women who took oral contraceptives to control symptoms, the risk was double that of premenopausal women. Women who have surgically induced menopause subsequent to the removal of their ovaries are also at high risk for depression. Factors that increase the risk of depression include history of a major depressive disorder or PMS. Hormone replacement therapy is approved for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms, and various options are now available. We welcome your questions.