“Text discussing the connection between stress, anxiety, and menopause. Image shows a person in a blue shirt with hands clasped over their chest.”

Stress is a natural and unavoidable part of life, but if you have noticed your overall anxiety has been on the uptick since beginning menopause and wondering if the two may be connected, you may be on to something!

Here, we’ll be sharing what causes anxiety during menopause, how to know if you have it, and most importantly, how you can find some relief and restore some calm in your daily life. 

The Relationship Between Menopause and Anxiety

“Text discussing the relationship between menopause and anxiety, explaining that menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and anxiety due to fluctuating hormones, especially lowered estrogen and progesterone levels. Image shows a woman fanning herself.”

The term “menopause” refers to the cessation of menstrual cycles for 12 consecutive months, which generally happens sometime between 45 and 55 and marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.  But, as you may know, the transition does not happen overnight. Instead, it is a process that can last several years. 

During this time, as periods become less frequent and ultimately stop, women often experience symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and yes, even anxiety. These symptoms are the result of fluctuating hormones, particularly the lowering levels of estrogen and progesterone. 

And hormones don’t just impact your reproductive system! They can affect the neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for mood regulation, which can lead to irritability, nervousness, mood swings, and anxiety. 

The Prevalence of Menopause-Induced Anxiety

“Text stating that it is estimated between 20-30% of women experience significant anxiety symptoms during menopause.”

If you suspect you are experiencing menopause-induced anxiety, you aren’t alone! In fact, it’s estimated that between 20-30% of women (that’s basically 1 in 3!) experience significant anxiety symptoms during menopause. Of course, the degree to which a person experiences anxiety during menopause also depends on lifestyle, health status, and sociocultural factors, but the moral of the story is that many (MANY) women experience anxiety in some form during menopause, and it’s important to recognize this. 

So often, when it comes to menopause, the cultural norm is to simply ignore or “suffer through” symptoms. But this should never be the case, especially with anxiety. 

Detailed Analysis of the Symptoms of Menopause Anxiety

“Text explaining symptoms of menopause anxiety, describing it as a chronic feeling of worry that may include panic attacks, sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, hot flashes, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Image includes an illustration of a woman holding her head in distress.”

Most of us are familiar with feelings of acute anxiety, like those before a big presentation at work, for example. But the symptoms associated with menopausal anxiety are often more severe and persistent. 

Many women with menopausal anxiety describe it as a chronic feeling of worry. It may also be accompanied by: 

  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hot flashes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue

As you can imagine (or might even know from experience!), these symptoms can severely affect your daily functioning and your relationships. That’s why it is important to seek help. As for how you can do that, keep reading! 

How to Recognize Menopause Anxiety

“Text explaining how to recognize menopause anxiety, noting that it is closely linked with hormonal fluctuations and often coincides with other menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and difficulty sleeping. Illustration of a fluctuating line graph with an arrow pointing to the right.”

It’s important to distinguish general anxiety from anxiety that is menopause-induced. With menopausal anxiety, the anxiety is closely linked with hormonal fluctuations, which means it often coincides with other symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and difficulty sleeping. If you are not experiencing anxiety alongside other symptoms of menopause, you may be experiencing more general anxiety. 

Now, both forms of anxiety can (and should!) be treated, but discerning between the two is important, since treatments may vary slightly. If you aren’t sure which kind of anxiety you are experiencing, your doctor or other healthcare professional can help.

In-depth Focus: Anxiety During Night-time Menopause

Many women with menopause-induced anxiety find that it worsens at night. This is because hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause can often cause night sweats and disrupt sleep patterns. 

To combat night-time anxiety, focus on good sleep hygiene. This includes things like keeping your room cool at night, avoiding electronics and stimulants like caffeine in the hours before bed, and  starting a relaxation ritual, which can include deep breathing, meditation, or simply reading in bed! If you feel like night sweats or hot flashes are causing you to wake frequently, you can also look into natural remedies to relieve these symptoms and prevent wake-ups. 

Natural Remedies for Menopause Anxiety

“Text discussing natural remedies for menopause anxiety, including mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga, and natural supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Illustration of a woman meditating in a seated position.”

“Natural remedy” refers to a practice or substance that is derived from a natural source, meaning it helps to alleviate symptoms (like those associated with menopause) without pharmaceuticals. 

As far as practices go, mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga have been shown to lower anxiety of all kinds, including menopause anxiety1. And for natural supplements, studies have shown that both Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E have helped reduce anxiety in menopausal women. 

Of course, if your anxiety is interfering with your daily life or your relationships, therapy is always a great option with many established benefits. If you are looking for recommendations for a good therapist in your area, your doctor is a great resource.

Diet and Lifestyle Adjustments to Manage Menopause Anxiety

“Text suggesting ways to support gut health and manage menopause anxiety, including eating probiotic-rich foods, a diverse whole-food diet, incorporating prebiotics, and limiting processed foods. Illustrations include yogurt, fruits and vegetables, garlic, and processed foods like donuts and soda.”

Many people refer to the gut as the “second brain” because of its powerful influence on mood, energy, and overall health. So supporting your gut health can go a long way in combatting your menopause anxiety. And one of the best ways to support your gut health is through diet.  

Dietary changes for menopause anxiety include:

  1. Eat a diverse diet. A diverse diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins helps support a diverse gut microbiome2
  2. Include probiotic-rich foods. Probiotics are good bacteria that help keep the gut functioning as it should. Foods high in probiotics include yogurt, fermented milk, kimchi, sourdough, miso, and tempeh3
  3. Don’t forget prebiotics, too! Prebiotics are fibers that probiotics like to eat, making them more likely to populate in your gut. Prebiotics can be found in foods like leeks, asparagus, onions, wheat, and soybeans4
  4. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners can fuel the growth of bad bacteria, which can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions like IBD as well as increase your risk of yeast infections5 ,6
  5. Limit processed foods. You’ve heard this before, right? Excess carbohydrates found in highly refined grains and starch can negatively impact your gut microbiota6

Along with diet, exercise and regular physical activity have been shown to decrease anxiety and improve mood through the release of endorphins. The activity you choose is totally up to you, whether that’s swimming, biking, walking, or playing pickleball with friends! 

Medical Treatments and Therapies for Menopause Anxiety

“Text discussing medical treatments and therapies for menopause anxiety, including medications like antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to increase estrogen levels and reduce menopause symptoms. Illustrations include pills, an estrogen tablet package, and a syringe.”

While natural remedies are often highly effective, there are times when medical intervention is necessary to combat anxiety and get you feeling and functioning like normal. 

As with any form of anxiety, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may prove helpful, though this is best determined by a licensed psychiatrist and taken under medical supervision. 

When it comes to menopause-induced anxiety specifically, hormone replacement therapy or HRT can also be helpful, especially if your anxiety accompanies other severe menopause symptoms. HRT increases the estrogen levels within your body. With hormones more in balance, most women notice a decrease in menopause symptoms. 

Menopause Anxiety and Happy V’s Menopause Relief

While HRT is a great option for many menopausal women, there are natural options to try to balance your hormone levels, including Happy V’s Menopause Relief

Happy V’s Menopause Relief was doctor-formulated to help support hormonal balance, with clinically proven ingredients like DIM, Blach Cohosh, and Norway Spruce. It also contains probiotics to strengthen your gut microbiome and support your body’s “second brain.” 

While not a treatment for menopause anxiety specifically, Happy V’s Menopause Relief is a holistic approach to overall health during menopause, helping to alleviate menopause symptoms by supporting hormonal balance and promoting a healthier gut microbiome.

“Text highlighting key takeaways about menopause-induced anxiety, stating that it affects 20-30% of menopausal women and can accompany symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain. It emphasizes recognizing menopause anxiety and combating it through natural remedies, diet, exercise, medications, or hormone replacement therapy. The most important advice is to maintain hope, as menopause is not forever and the anxiety is treatable. Each point is marked with a checkmark.”


How long do menopause symptoms last? 

Menopause symptoms can last as long as 10 years, but for most women, it’s under 5 years. And remember, if you ever feel like these symptoms are severe, you should not hesitate to reach out to your doctor. Yes, menopause is a part of life, but not one that you have to struggle or suffer through. 

What’s the difference between menopause-induced anxiety and general anxiety? 

Menopause-induced anxiety feels similar to general anxiety in terms of the constant feelings of worry, but menopausal anxiety is often accompanied by other menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. 

How can I manage menopause-induced anxiety? 

Focus on getting regular physical activity, incorporating mindfulness practices into your day, and eating a diverse diet high in probiotics. If your anxiety is worse at night, focus on your overall sleep hygiene. And remember, therapy is always an option and has proven to be highly effective in treating all forms of anxiety!