HealthDay News — The majority of women experience symptoms and health concerns associated with menopause, but more than one-third never discuss these concerns with health care providers, according to a report released by HealthyWomen and WebMD.
The online survey of 3,197 adult U.S. women assessed women’s experience with physical, mental, and sexual health as they age and their attitudes about healthy aging.
The survey revealed three-quarters of respondents experienced at least six symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, including, most commonly, hot flashes (69 percent), sleep problems (64 percent), mood swings/irritability (62 percent), brain fog (60 percent), night sweats (60 percent), and weight gain (54 percent). Overall, only one-fourth of perimenopausal and menopausal women rated their physical health positively, while 37 percent rated their mental health as either excellent or very good. However, once past menopause, women say their physical and mental health improved, with 40 percent of postmenopausal women rating their physical health as very good or excellent and 60 percent rating their mental health similarly. Compared to white women, black women in menopause rated their physical and mental health more highly. Only one-third of women in perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause reported good or excellent sexual health. More than one-third of women never discussed their concerns with their health care provider. One-third of women preferred to manage menopausal symptoms without medication, with one-fourth of women citing fear of side effects or increased health risks as the reason.
“Despite a general shift in our culture promoting more discussion of health concerns and healthy living, our report shows that there is still a lack of openness when it comes to the health issues and changes of women as they age,” John Whyte, M.D., M.P.H., the chief medical officer of WebMD, said in a statement.