Menopause: it’s a normal biological event that every woman goes through as their monthly menstrual cycles come to an end. While menopause is inevitable, certain factors can influence an individual’s likelihood of experiencing menopause early, one key contributor being stress.
With all the hot flashes, mood changes, and even menopausal skin problems that can come with it, there are many reasons why a person might want to avoid reaching the point of menopause prematurely.
So, can stress cause early menopause? In this article, we’ll take a look at why chronic stress can encourage menopause to knock on your door earlier than expected. Read on to find out more about why stress plays a role in the onset of menopause, what you can do to combat this, and how you can remain your most luminous self even when experiencing early menopause symptoms.
How Does Stress Impact Menopause?
So, can stress cause menopause? Let’s take a look at the data.
When considering a possible link between mental stress and a bodily process such as menopause, your first instinct might be to assume that there’s no way the two could be correlated.
However, stress can and does have very real effects on the physical well-being of the human body. If you’ve ever had a painful headache or felt fatigued after a stressful day, you know this fact firsthand.
Excessive levels of stress elevate the stress hormones produced by the endocrine system, which can sometimes lead to premature menopause.
In fact, one study that researched the association between daily life stress and the age at which natural menopause occurred in a sample of Korean women did indeed find a significant tie between stress and early menopause.
The evidence suggests that chronic stress can potentially encourage premature menopause if steps aren’t taken to make positive life changes that can relieve an individual from recurring stress.
With this in mind, let’s examine ways that one can manage stress as they go through the stages of menopause.
How to Manage Stress During Perimenopause
Perimenopause refers to the transitional time during which a woman starts having shorter, more irregular periods before menopause is in full effect.
All the complex changes associated with this process can be stressful on your mind and body. In order to counteract these factors and maintain optimal wellness during perimenopause, it can be helpful to employ these strategies:
- Stay active – We know, it can be hard enough to get motivated to exercise on a normal day. So when your body isn’t feeling its best due to the aches and pains of perimenopause, it can feel like moving your muscles is the last thing you want to do. However, stepping outdoors to take a walk and get a breath of fresh air may be just what you need to take stress off your shoulders and reduce any menopausal symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Take time for yourself – Whether it’s the never-ending responsibilities of a stay-at-home mom or the demanding workload of a business professional, women who reach the age of menopause are often perfectly poised to experience a high amount of life stress. Be sure to set aside moments, both small and large, to breathe, practice mindfulness, and recharge.
- Prioritize sleep – Trouble with insomnia is a symptom of menopause, and other side effects, such as night sweats, don’t help your ability to get quality shut-eye. Therefore, any practices you can put in place to nurture healthy sleep are essential for keeping your stress levels low during perimenopause. Staying away from caffeine or bright screens late in the evening can help, as can establishing a consistent sleep routine.
Ways to Treat Skin Changes During Menopause
Even if you follow all these tips diligently, you may still experience at least a few unwanted symptoms as your menstrual cycle ceases, including menopausal skin changes.
When menopause causes skin issues, this can cause stress, which in turn can cause even more skin issues. In the end, it all leads to a repeating cycle of stress and breakouts that are not fun for anyone.
To make matters worse, menopausal skin problems due to changes in hormone levels can come out of nowhere. After all, most people think of hormonal acne as a condition that only impacts growing teens, leading to oily adolescent skin and one too many pimples on high school picture day.
As it happens, menopause can be a recipe for dermatological frustration. Just like puberty, menopausal women experience intense hormonal fluctuation that can disrupt the skin’s balance.
Menopause is known to impact one’s appearance by:
- Drying out the skin and hair
- Causing the epidermis to thin
- Reducing skin firmness
But fear not. Effective strategies for achieving your best possible skin even before or after reaching the point of menopause include:
- Applying sunscreen – Menopause is a milestone in life. It’s the mark of many successful trips around the sun, which should be celebrated. But all the accumulated exposure to UV rays a mature woman endures throughout her life can start to show on the skin. Making it a priority to protect your skin with powerful mineral-based sunscreen that offers an SPF of at least 30 can help protect your skin from age marks, sun spots, and UVA/UVB damage.
- Use gentle products – Harsh soaps can worsen an irritated face and dry out mature skin that is already more prone to dryness. It can be tempting to reach for teen-targeted acne products when your menopausal transition leads to blemishes. However, investing in a high-quality anti-acne regimen specifically designed for more delicate, sensitive skin is better. This way, you can be sure your products are nourishing your skin instead of making the problem worse.
- Don’t forget to moisturize – The key to maintaining supple skin lies in keeping your face adequately hydrated. Experts recommend using products that contain hyaluronic acid or glycerin for the best results. To go one step further, try using a powerful face serum that boosts your skin’s collagen levels. Women are believed to lose about 30% of their collagen during the first five years of menopause, So replenishing this resource with a specifically formulated collagen stem cell serum is a great way to supplement mature skin.
Nurture Your Maturing Skin with CLEARSTEM
We hope the information in this guide helped you answer the question, can stress cause early menopause? The truth is long-term, chronic stress can lead to premature menopause. But with the right proactive stress-reducing practices in place, you can keep your body free of stress and walk gracefully into menopause when the time is right for you.
And before, during, and after menopause, turn to CLEARSTEM—a skincare company founded by women—to support your skin health. Our MINDBODYSKIN® Hormonal Acne Supplement is one of our most famous products for helping to control acne from the inside out. By helping to balance hormone levels and support liver detoxification, these daily supplements effectively fight adult acne and help clear skin problems commonly caused by hormone changes. Browse our collection of anti-aging skincare products to keep your complexion looking youthful, radiant, and supple even as you and your skin continue to travel around the sun.
National Library of Medicine. The Association between Stress Level in Daily Life and Age at Natural Menopause in Korean Women: Outcomes of the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2010-2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666866/
Johns Hopkins Medicine. Perimenopause. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/perimenopause
American Academy of Dermatology. CARING FOR YOUR SKIN IN MENOPAUSE. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause