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Common errors in diagnosing menopause

Errores comunes en el diagnóstico de la menopausia

We are all familiar with the most common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, irregular periods, and night sweats.

But some women may not experience these symptoms at all, which could lead to a misdiagnosis. And a misdiagnosis can prevent them from receiving the help they need and deserve. It has been reported that, of 5,000 women in the UK, a third of them have waited at least 3 years for a correct diagnosis of menopause, while another 18% visited their doctor six times before getting the help they needed to relieve your menopause-related symptoms.

So, let's take a look at some of the conditions you could be diagnosed with instead of menopause. Keep in mind that just because you have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions, it does not mean that you have been misdiagnosed, it is just something to be aware of.

Some of the most common misdiagnoses


Many of us may use the word "depressed" when we feel sad or depressed, but depression is an illness that can make people feel sad, hopeless, have poor sleep, have no sex drive, or have low sex drive for a long time. time frame.

Menopause can increase your chances of becoming depressed. However, the hormone-related mood changes that accompany menopause can sometimes be misdiagnosed as depression.


Other mental health conditions such as anxiety can begin to appear during the age of menopause, along with anger and irritability. One study showed, over a 10-year follow-up period, that there was a 9.1% increase in women experiencing anxiety compared to the premenopausal level.

Experiencing anxiety during menopause is quite common, so we suggest talking to your doctor if you are close to the age of menopause and suddenly start having frequent anxiety.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This is a long-term illness that can leave you feeling extremely tired and exhausted, and can also cause disturbed sleep problems, dizziness, aches and pains, heart palpitations, and memory problems.

However, these symptoms may be associated with menopause, which can make this diagnosis more complicated. This is again due to a decrease in female hormones, but if these symptoms are related to menopause, they can usually be treated with HRT.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive condition that causes cramps, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. In some women, digestive symptoms may occur due to low estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause.

However, sometimes the link between the two is not recognized by your doctor, especially if you have a previous history of IBS. If you are of menopause age, we suggest mentioning the link with your doctor, as any digestive symptoms can often be improved through HRT.


This is a long-term condition that causes pain throughout the body, potentially related to abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain that change the way the central nervous system processes pain messages.

The symptoms again can be very similar to those associated with menopause, such as extreme fatigue, difficulty sleeping, brain fog, and IBS. All of these symptoms can improve through HRT.

Cystitis and candidiasis

Two things that most women can confidently say they have suffered from. But if you have either of these often, it could be due to low estrogen levels during menopause.

A lack of estrogen can thin the lining of your vagina, bladder and urethra, meaning you may be more vulnerable to infections and you may find the tissues around the vagina become painful and itchy.

Neither of these conditions is something you should endure regularly, and you should not take multiple courses of antibiotics throughout the year when the problem might be better treated with HRT or estrogen cream.

Why can this happen?

Unfortunately, sometimes this is simply due to a lack of education about menopause. GPs don't actually receive formal menopause education as part of their training, as menopause care has traditionally been led by gynaecologists, explained Dr Louise Newson, GP and menopause specialist. This can lead to one of the reasons why a menopause diagnosis can take a few years.

What impact can this have on physical and emotional well-being?

Like any health problem that is misdiagnosed, this can have a significant negative impact on physical and emotional well-being. A misdiagnosis can cause long-term distress that could worsen mental health symptoms.

You can do it about it

We suggest making sure you research as much as you can about menopause, taking note of any menopause-related symptoms, how they are affecting you and how long they last. Going directly to your primary care doctor with all this information can help you receive the right care.

It's important to be aware of the different options you have when it comes to managing menopause symptoms to ensure you get the best care for you. The most well-known menopause treatment is HRT (hormone replacement therapy), which includes, at a basic level, reintroducing estrogen or progesterone into your body. Another treatment option is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), but there are also natural treatment options for you.

The last word

Menopause is not something you should suffer through, there are treatment options available to help. So if you think you have been misdiagnosed, we want to empower you and make sure you can get the right treatment you need.

Sometimes this comes from taking it into your own hands. Make sure you continually talk to loved ones about your concerns and find a community that is going through the same experiences as you.


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