Pop Quiz!

Menopause and Mental Health: Understanding the Link

The physical effects of menopause — hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, and weight gain — are common knowledge, but did you know that menopause can affect your mental and emotional health, as well? Knowledge is power, so arm yourself and take our quiz to get the facts on menopause and mental health.

1. True or false? Perimenopause, or the time leading up to menopause, can last up to 10 years and is usually what people are referring to when talking about “going through menopause.”

2. Which of the following happens during perimenopause?
A. Your menstrual cycle can become irregular — longer, shorter, heavier, lighter, infrequent, or closer together. 
B. Hormone levels that control your reproductive cycle fall.
C. Physical side effects like hot flashes
D. Your body releases fewer eggs and you become less fertile.
E. All of the above

3. True or false? The side effects of perimenopause can lead to depressive episodes; essentially, although depression isn’t caused by menopause, studies show that about 20% of women have symptoms of depression during this time.

4. Which of the following is NOT a way in which the side effects of perimenopause can lead to depressive episodes?
A. The hormones that control your menstrual cycle also influence serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes feelings of well-being and happiness. When hormone levels drop, serotonin levels also fall, which contributes to increased irritability, anxiety, and sadness. 
B. Falling estrogen and progesterone levels can trigger mood swings, and hormonal dips can set off a depressive episode.
C. Falling estrogen and progesterone levels are replaced with a different hormone that negatively affects how the brain deals with stress.
D. The insomnia that can accompany perimenopause can lead to poor sleep, and that can make you up to 10 times more likely to become depressed.

5. True or false? In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop depression.

6. True or false? Having a history of depression makes it more likely you’ll experience an episode as you approach menopause.

7. Which of the following is/are other emotional change(s) that can be side effects of perimenopause?
A. Crankiness, anger, and/or mood swings
B. Feelings of sadness
C. Anxiety and/or loss of confidence or self-esteem
D. Forgetfulness and trouble concentrating
E. Fatigue
F. All of the above

8. Which of the following are treatment options for those suffering from depression due to perimenopause?
A. Hormonal medications, such as an estrogen patch with progesterone pills
B. Antidepressants and/or cognitive behavioral therapy
C. Lifestyle adjustments such as eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption
D. All of the above

9. What should you do if you think that perimenopause is contributing to your depressive state?
A. Ignore your symptoms as they should eventually go away.
B. Tell your doctor how you’re feeling, so they can rule out other medical or psychiatric conditions and recommend treatments.
C. Research your symptoms online.
D. Utilize essential oils to heal yourself.

10. Which of the following are additional ways to deal with the mental and emotional stress of going through perimenopause?
A. Exercise and a healthy diet.
B. Practice a self-calming skill like yoga, meditation, or rhythmic breathing.
C. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
D. Engage in a creative outlet that gives you a sense of achievement.
E. Stay connected with your family and community, and nurture your friendships.
F. All of the above

compiled by ERIKA ALDRICH/Information from John Hopkins Medicine and WebMD.


  1. True. Menopause is technically one day in a woman’s life that occurs 12 months after her last period. Perimenopause is the two-10 years prior.
  2. E. All of the above. Hormones decrease as the reproductive cycle slows down.
  3. True. 
  4. C. Estrogen and progesterone are not replaced by another hormone.
  5. True
  6. True
  7. F. All of the above
  8. D. All of the above
  9. B. Talk with your doctor.
  10. F. All of the above

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