With recent figures from Wellbeing of Women estimating that around 13 million womenin the UK are peri-menopausal or menopausal, making up almost a third of the female population, it goes without saying that accurate and useful health advice needs to be available for one of the country’s largest groups.
Women’s health and tech company, Forth, are no strangers to perimenopause research. They have dedicated their expertise to helping women better understand the processes their bodies go through. In new data from a perimenopause symptoms quiz conducted by the company, 996 women aged between 18-69 responded and shared their experiences with perimenopause.
Interestingly, the survey found that symptoms varied across age groups, with certain symptoms being present more frequently with younger women, and vice-versa. Respondents were asked 14 questions about perimenopause symptoms and were given the choice between ‘always’, ‘often’, and ‘never’ as responses.
The results showed that the symptoms with the biggest age discrepancy were hot flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, and frequent bloating – with all 4 symptoms presenting more frequently in women aged between 18-29 than any other age group in the survey. In response to hot flushes – commonly believed to be the number 1 perimenopause symptom, 74% of women in the 18-29 age group responded ‘always’ or ‘often’, compared to just 46% of women aged between 40-49.
Respondents that answered ‘always’ or ‘often’ to hot flushes (by age):
- 18-29 (74%)
- 30-39 (66%)
- 40-49 (46%)
Similarly, 79% of 18-29 year olds reported night sweats ‘always’ or ‘often’, versus only 63% of 30-39 year olds, and 55% of 40-49 year olds.
Respondents that answered ‘always’ or ‘often’ to night sweats (by age):
- 18-29 (79%)
- 30-39 (63%)
- 40-49 (55%)
Irregular periods also showed a large gap in ages, with 74% of 18-29 year olds experiencing this symptom, compared to just 62% of the 30-39 age group.
Respondents that answered ‘always’ or ‘often’ to irregular periods (by age):
- 18-29 (74%)
- 30-39 (62%)
- 40-49 (60%)
And, finally, frequent bloating showcased a similar pattern – with a huge 90% of 18-29 year olds responding ‘often’ or ‘always’, and a much smaller 79% of 40-49 year olds responding the same.
Respondents that answered ‘always’ or ‘often’ to frequent bloating (by age):
- 18-29 (90%)
- 30-39 (85%)
- 40-49 (79%)
The different experiences across age groups demonstrate the importance of perimenopause and menopause studies, as there isn’t a universal one-size-fits-all experience of these life stages.
The survey highlighted some of the most and least common perimenopause symptoms, with the least-popular symptom across all age groups being vaginal dryness and pain during sex, with only 44% of respondents experiencing this symptom. The most common symptom was mood changes, such as anxiety, depression, bursts of anger, etc. With 83% of respondents experiencing this symptom ‘often’ or ‘always’.
Sadly, the results also found that the majority of the women in the survey experienced multiple symptoms – with 97% experiencing 3 or more of the 14 listed symptoms and a shocking 92% experiencing 5 or more. This further highlights a need for better health support for perimenopausal women, which is something Forth – the company behind the survey – feels passionate about.