According to a new survey, seven in 10 women blame menopause for their divorce or marital problems, and some say it has caused more arguments or domestic violence.
More than 1,000 women participated in research for the Family Law Menopause Project and Newson Health Research and Education.
Nearly eight in 10 women with marital problems said the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause put a strain on their family life.
Only a third of all women surveyed said they had received treatment or HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to relieve their symptoms.
Of those taking HRT, 65% said it had a positive effect.
But most women who did not receive support or treatment said that if they had, it could have saved their marriage.
dr. Louise Newson, a primary care physician and menopause specialist who runs Newson Health, said: “While the physical symptoms of menopause are well known and often discussed, the impact on mental health is often ignored and can be catastrophic for many women, including a profoundly negative effect on their work, relationships and finances.
“Our mission is to improve health outcomes for perimenopause and menopausal women through continued education and research and this research does just that.”
‘Lack of understanding within family law of the impact of perimenopause and menopause’
Farhana Shahzady, founder of the Family Law Menopause Project, said: “This groundbreaking research among women confirms the link between menopause and divorce and further highlights the lack of understanding within the family law profession of the impact of perimenopause and menopause.
“I am deeply concerned that more than half of respondents said perimenopause or menopause had (or will make) it more difficult for them to save for retirement and/or reduced their ability to save for retirement .
“This means that women can face real financial difficulties when they retire, after a divorce/divorce.
“It’s clear that, as in the wider society, the family law profession needs to appreciate the realities of menopause and we need to be better equipped to support the many clients deeply affected by menopause.”
‘A woman’s memory changes during menopause’
Meanwhile, the International Menopause Society (IMS) has published a paper highlighting brain fog during menopause and perimenopause.
The paper says those symptoms include difficulty remembering words and numbers, disturbances in daily life such as losing items such as keys, difficulty concentrating, absent-mindedness, losing a train of thought, being more easily distracted, switching between tasks and forgetting appointments and events.
Memory complaints can be caused by rising and falling hormone levels, especially estrogen, as well as hot flashes, sleep disturbances and mood swings, the study said.
‘Brain fog is common’
Co-author Dr Nicole Jaff said: “Research studies show that a woman’s memory changes during menopause and that ‘brain fog’ is common.
“While this can temporarily affect a woman’s quality of life, the good news is that symptoms are generally mild and disappear after menopause.
“Women are often concerned that these memory problems are an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but these conditions are very rare in middle age.
“Women need to be reassured that most memory problems before and during menopause will get better over time.”