Which is why many women have taken to search engines for more information on menopause and how it affects their mind and body. So what are the most common questions asked?
Experts at Stella, an app for menopause relief, have used Google search data to reveal the six most searched questions in the past year, utilising their internal experts and doctors to help answer them.
Andrea Berchowitz, Stella CEO and Co-Founder, says: “Menopause can be a challenging time for many women and they often take to search engines to find relief and an understanding of what their bodies are going through. We wanted to see the most asked questions regarding menopause and help answer them, to show women that they’re not alone, and help is always at hand.”
What are the symptoms of menopause?
534,410 searches in the past 12 months
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the thing people want to know most about menopause is what the symptoms are – over 534,000 people searched for answers to this question in the past year. There are 34 symptoms of menopause and every woman’s experience is different. Some suffer many of these symptoms, while some will only experience a few.
The most common symptoms are:
- Vasomotor: hot flushes, night sweats, chills, heart palpitations
- Psychological: mood swings, depression, panic attacks, anger, anxiety, low confidence
- Somatic (physical): headaches, joint pain, sleep issues, weight gain
- Urogenital (sex and pelvic floor): painful sex, low libido, vaginal discomfort, urinary incontinence
What are the early symptoms of menopause?
25,010 searches in the past 12 months
Over 25,000 people have been searching for information about the early symptoms of menopause in the past 12 months.
The time leading up to it is called perimenopause and this is when menopausal symptoms first appear for many women. But what are the first signs? The most common symptoms include increased anxiety, unexplained mood swings, low libido, erratic periods, restless sleep, weight gain and hot flushes.
How long does menopause last?
19,700 searches in the past 12 months
Many are going online to see how long their menopause symptoms may last. In fact, there have been nearly 20,000 searches for this topic in the past year alone.
Perimenopause tends to last for an average of 10 years and symptoms can appear during this time, but it differs for each person. It’s also important to note that menopausal symptoms can last well into postmenopause, so can be longer for many.
How does menopause affect sleep?
2,260 searches in the past 12 months
Disturbed sleep is one of the most common menopause symptoms, and 2,260 people have been wondering how menopause affects sleep in the last 12 months. The majority of women will experience sleep issues.
The reason for this is fluctuating hormone levels which make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Paired with night sweats, it can be hard for women to get a restful night’s sleep. It’s important to know that it is temporary and the quality of sleep for most women will improve postmenopause.
What happens during menopause?
1,990 searches in the past 12 months
Even if you may know the symptoms, nearly 2,000 people have been asking what actually happens during menopause – a 13% increase from this time last year. Menopause is defined as the time when a woman hasn’t had a period for a year and isn’t on hormonal contraception.
It is a natural consequence of ageing that your ovaries stop producing eggs. During the menopause journey, your body produces less oestrogen and progesterone, which leads to menopausal symptoms.
A surgical or medically induced menopause is when your ovaries are removed or if you take medication that stops your ovaries from working.
Does menopause cause weight gain?
1,720 searches in the past 12 months
One of the most common asked questions was if menopause contributed to weight gain, with over 1,700 searches. On average, a woman will put on 5lbs during menopause, and notice this gain mostly around their middle.
Your body produces fewer hormones during menopause, and lower oestrogen levels mean your body stores more fat and redistributes it differently – mainly around the stomach area. Muscle mass also decreases as we age, which is why many women put on weight as they age and during menopause.
To help, try increasing your intake of non-starchy carbs, healthy fats, water and herbal teas, and look for food high in protein and fibre.
*Google search data, correct as of 17 March 2022