Bipolar Disorder in the Menopausal Transition

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Reproductive and Urinary Physiology | Women's Health


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We review recent data on bipolar disorder in menopausal-aged women, particularly in women undergoing the menopausal transition (MT). We discuss evidence on the severity of symptoms in bipolar women during the MT. Moreover, we address two factors in bipolar disorder and menopausal research: standardized menopausal staging and women's conceptualization of their menopausal and bipolar symptoms.

RECENT FINDINGS: While there are few studies within the last 5 years on bipolar women undergoing the MT, new evidence suggest that mood symptoms in women worsen with progression through the MT. Consistent use of the standardized menopausal staging system can facilitate understanding of the timing of worsening symptoms. Moreover, whether women conceptualize their symptoms as arising from their MT or bipolar disorder can influence whether they seek hormonal therapy or psychiatric treatment, respectively. The MT is a potential time for mood instability in vulnerable women, which can manifest as first-onset development of bipolar disorder or increased symptom severity in women with pre-existing bipolar disorder. Adoption of a standardized menopausal staging may offer novel frameworks for understanding of the role of the MT in bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder, Hormonal fluctuations, Menopausal staging, Menopausal transition, Mood, Perimenopause

DOI of Published Version



Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019 Nov 25;21(12):130. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1111-3. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current psychiatry reports

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID