Researchers have found that menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and hair loss
may last much longer than previously thought. The findings come from the results of a long-term study of 1,449 women in the US. The study, which was the largest of its kind, followed women from four ethnic groups in seven American cities as they went through the menopause from 1996 to 2013.
British soap opera Emmerdale tackles the female menopause via a storyline following character Nicola King as finds she is experiencing signs before reaching 40
Longer lasting menopause symptoms
The study revealed menopausal symptoms lasted many years longer than expected. The average length of time women endured symptoms for was 7.4 years, but half of the women suffered symptoms for longer, some up to 14 years.
The results showed that the earlier symptoms started, the longer they lasted, and one in eight women started getting hot flushes during the pre-menopausal stage. There were ethnic differences too, with African-American and Hispanic women experiencing hot flushes for significantly longer than Caucasian or Asian women.
The effect of stress
The study also found that stress had an effect on the longevity of the symptoms. Women with more stress had longer lasting symptoms and were also more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. However, Dr JoAnn E. Manson, who provided commentary on the study, highlighted that high levels of stress could be causing the women to find the symptoms more severe: “Women with more stress in their lives may be more aware of their symptoms and perceive them to be more bothersome”
Dealing with menopausal hair loss
Due to the hormonal changes
that take place during this time, many women also experience menopausal hair loss
. Like the symptoms reported in the study, hair loss can begin in the pre-menopausal stage. During this time, levels of oestrogen are reduced, and testosterone in the bloodstream is more easily converted to DHT
, which reduces blood flow to the hair follicles. Over time, in women who are genetically predisposed to androgenic alopecia
, hair can become thinner and may eventually stop growing.
The stress brought on by going through the female menopause may also bring about stress-related hair loss
conditions such as Telogen Effluvium
There are a number of options for women worried about thinning hair
during menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
can help manage the menopause symptoms and minimise hair loss, due to the estrogen boost delivered by the HRT. For women who do not want to take HRT, there are other options for reducing hair loss and encouraging hair growth
The topical treatment Minoxidil
is medically proven to help regrowth in women with female pattern hair loss
, and can be used in association with hair growth boosters
to encourage blood flow to the scalp. High strength minoxidil
has also produced significant regrowth results in women with other hair loss conditions which can be brought on by the menopause. Minoxidil has triggered promising regrowth for many Belgravia clients when used as a treatment for Telogen Effluvium
Belgravia client, Noreen came to see us after experiencing menopausal hair loss. She was delighted with her regrowth, saying, "I wish I had come to The Centre straight away, I was very pleased when I did come... People say that it looks like I have a lot of hair which pleases me no end
". You can view her full review and photographs of her before and after starting treatment in her Success Story
If you are concerned about unusual amounts of shedding or if you would like to know more about our bespoke minoxidil formulations, contact a hair loss specialist
for professional advice. They will be able to provide you with expert assistance, including a diagnosis of your condition and recommendations for a comprehensive, personalised hair loss treatment plan to give you the best chance of hair recovery.