[Experience story] From menopausal depression to the start of hormone replacement therapy!

“Menopause” that comes before and after menopause. Are you suffering from menopausal symptoms that started without you noticing? Keifu Uyama, a medical writer who became depressed due to menopause, writes about how she realized that she was menopausal, and her experience of hormone replacement therapy.

Experiences of depressive symptoms due to menopause

Table of contents

  • Something is wrong…Dizziness and vomiting lasting 2 weeks due to work troubles
  • Anxiety is supposed to be unrelated, but before you know it, you’re in a “depressed state”!?
  • Testing required before starting hormone replacement therapy
  • There are many drug options. Listen to the doctor’s explanation and think for yourself!
  • Start hormone replacement therapy

Something is wrong…Dizziness and vomiting lasting 2 weeks due to work troubles


The average age of menopause for Japanese women today is 50-52. I went through menopause when I just turned 55. Up until then, I had been suffering from menopausal disorders, such as “night sweats”, “sweating making my makeup difficult to apply”, and “horrible menstrual pain”. Considering the excessive sweating and menstrual cramps in conjunction with the situation where menstruation is gradually skipping, I took it lightly as “a sign that menopause is approaching, which comes to everyone.”

It’s been about 3 months since my menstruation stopped coming for about a year. Immediately after two consecutive weeks of trouble at work that made me feel a little depressed, I was suddenly attacked by unbearable nausea, dizziness, and headaches even though I was at work.

I used to be able to go back to work after lying down for about 30 minutes during my lunch break, but no matter how many hours passed, the dizziness and vomiting that suddenly occurred in the evening didn’t stop. I had a bad physical condition that I had never experienced before, returning home by taxi in the middle of the night.

I had the same bad health for two weeks in a row, so I thought it might be menopause, so I made an appointment with the gynecology department at the hospital where I work. While working as a medical writer, I also work on medical communication as a public relations representative at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. As a Menopause Counselor, she often wrote articles for women’s magazines and had knowledge about menopausal outpatient services.

Anxiety is supposed to be unrelated, but before you know it, you’re in a “depressed state”!?

Depression due to menopause

On the day of my appointment, when I went to the menopausal clinic, I was asked to fill out various questions and questionnaires before being interviewed by a doctor. What was interesting was that when I was in my 20s, I was at a romantic age, and a man asked me, “What do you like to eat?” and “What do you do on weekends?” did.

As I was filling in my answers, I thought, “I haven’t been asked this question by anyone in a long time, and I’ve never thought about what I’m interested in now, or how I want to live in the future. Hey …” I noticed that I was less interested in myself.

As a result of interview, blood test, urine test, etc., the female hormone follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (E2) levels have drastically decreased to levels that indicate menopause, and cholesterol levels and triglycerides are high. In addition, he pointed out that I had a strong mental depression, which I was completely unaware of. I’m already surprised by this. I never thought I would find myself in a depressive psychological situation, even though I’ve always had a personality that has nothing to do with anxiety and depression.

Testing required before starting hormone replacement therapy

hormone replacement therapy

My doctor recommended antidepressants and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but if I started taking two drugs at the same time, I would not be able to determine which one was effective if there was an improvement. I don’t know, so I decided to start with one or the other.

My first choice was hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone replacement therapy is a method of improving symptoms caused by estrogen deficiency, such as hot flashes, dizziness, hot flashes, sweating, and pain during sexual intercourse, by replacing estrogen with drugs.

Before starting treatment, only those who have been thoroughly examined and confirmed by a doctor’s diagnosis whether they can take HRT and who have been recognized as safe will start treatment.

In my case, I had breast and uterine cancer screenings every year, and no particular abnormalities were found. .

There are many drug options. Listen to the doctor’s explanation and think for yourself!

There are two types of hormones that are replenished with HRT, and the doctor will show you the direction and how to use them depending on the condition of the user.

Two types of hormone preparations are estrogen (follicular hormone) preparations that maintain a feminine body and thicken the uterine lining, and prevent endometrial cancer by preventing the lining of the uterus from becoming too thick. Progesterone (luteinizing hormone) preparation. There are estrogen-only replacement methods, which are mainly used by people without a uterus, and both estrogen and progesterone replacement methods, which are used by people with a uterus.

Estrogen preparations include oral medicines, topical medicines (gel creams), and skin patches (patches). After thoroughly confirming the characteristics and side effects of each, select the one that is easy to use and seems to suit your constitution and lifestyle. . In my case, I was not allergic to the alcohol it contains, so I chose to apply the estrogen gel daily.
Furthermore, in my case, since I had a uterus and had to start HRT in the period just after menopause, which is 3 months after menopause, I applied an estrogen gel every day and continued for 12 days in the morning and evening. On one occasion, my doctor recommended me to take progesterone orally, and I chose it.

My doctor explained in advance that if I chose this method, I would have regular menstrual-like bleeding to prevent endometriosis and body cancer. If you want to continue HRT, you should have a breast cancer and uterine cancer screening once a year, and a blood test once every six months to check your hormones, cholesterol, triglycerides, anemia, liver function, etc. The attending physician also explained that it was necessary to check for any abnormalities.

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