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'The brain fog is the worst symptom, like someone pulled the blinds down' - the struggle of menopause in lockdown

The ‘change’ isn’t easy at the best of times — throw in a pandemic, and it’s no surprise that some women are finding that symptoms are even worse during lockdown, writes Emily Hourican

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Lynda Nolan says her ‘brain fog’ has been more apparent in lockdown. Photo: Tony Gavin

Lynda Nolan says her ‘brain fog’ has been more apparent in lockdown. Photo: Tony Gavin

Lynda Nolan says her ‘brain fog’ has been more apparent in lockdown. Photo: Tony Gavin

It isn't a competition - who can have the 'worst' Covid-crisis experience? - but a recent survey conducted by the Menopause Hub clearly shows that women who were already experiencing symptoms of menopause are finding the current crisis - and the ways in which it impacts on their physical health, psychological well-being, and availability of healthcare - tough.

The survey was conducted among women aged between 35 and 64 years old, 84pc of whom described themselves as peri-menopausal or post-menopausal. Of those, 70pc have symptoms and 65pc describe their symptoms as moderate to severe.

Thirty per cent of women surveyed describe their symptoms as worse during the recent crisis. Within that, 66pc reported increased anxiety, 40pc reported increased mood swings, 54pc reported increased fatigue, 50pc reported increased insomnia, 47pc reported increased weight gain and 45pc a negative impact on relationships from menopausal symptoms during Covid-19, with 48pc reporting a negative impact on their relationship with their partner, and 35pc reporting a negative impact on their relationship with their children.