Female hormones are constantly fluctuating. Because of this fluctuation, women are prone to an increased risk of depression. Certain times in a woman’s life are more vulnerable to this risk, including shortly after childbirth (postpartum depression), as well as the transition into menopause and the onset of post menopause.
The question is, why do some women suffer from these hormonal transitions while others remain unfazed? If your only problem currently is your dry vagina and painful intercourse, then consider yourself lucky because it is not uncommon for a woman to suffer from depression at some point in their life.
The Answer to Your Questions
Many studies have been done in order to determine the reason why some women are affected by their hormonal transitions while other women are not. Some studies say that the duration of estrogen exposure plays a significant role. The longer you have been exposed to estrogen (from the start of your menstrual cycle to the onset of menopause), the less likely you are to suffer from depression during menopause—and up to 10 years after.
In addition, the longer a woman has used birth control, the less likely she is to suffer from depression. A higher risk for depression was also found in women with: early menopause, fewer menstrual cycles or more recurring hot flashes.
The Presence of Estradiol
A more recent study focused on estradiol—the primary estrogen present during a woman’s reproductive years—and found that it plays a role in increased risks of depression. Estradiol regulates the mixture, availability and metabolism of serotonin, a principal neurotransmitter in depression.
Though the fluctuations of estradiol during the menopause transition occur within every woman, the amount of time exposed to the estradiol in the adult years varies from woman to woman.
Whether you are suffering from depression or just a dry vagina, it is important to listen to your body in order to stay your happiest and healthiest you.