Can collagen help with symptoms of menopause? Let’s take a look…

25 October, 2022

Menopause is an inevitable part of a woman’s life. And while the menopause can’t be stopped, the common symptoms that accompany it can be relieved.

There are three stages of menopause: peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause, all of which affect the body in different ways.  Many of us don’t realise just how early menopause can actually start, but 1 in every 100 women experience early menopause (peri-menopause) at or before the age of 40.

A woman reaches menopause once her period has stopped for 12 months. The symptoms a woman experiences prior to reaching menopause, is the peri-menopausal stage. Post-menopause, a woman will no longer have periods and some of the symptoms of menopause will have eased or stopped, but some women continue to experience the same symptoms for several years after.

There are many symptoms associated with menopause. With so many possible menopause symptoms, it is always best to seek advice from your GP on the most effective methods of menopause relief that best suit you.

Symptoms of perimenopause include sleep issues, brain ‘fog’, hot flushes, memory loss, mood swings, anxiety and also physical changes.

The primary driver of these symptoms is the progressive decline of the hormone oestrogen, which is produced by the ovaries. Science has long proven that oestrogen plays a vital role in support of total body collagen. And so, as oestrogen levels decline through menopause, so do our collagen levels. In fact, a massive 30% of dermal collagen can be lost in the first five years of menopause. This is the primary reason the development of wrinkles and lines accelerate as we age.

One of the most common symptoms of menopause is seen and felt in our skin. Skin can feel thinner and drier, and sometimes develop teenage acne-like symptoms. Skin cell renewal declines during this time, with a lower level of sebum which can cause skin to become dull and lack hydration. ‘Quick fixes’ and topical products can often aggravate menopausal skin as they can cause dryness, worsen symptoms and can be too harsh.

Alex Inge, co-founder and co-CEO of Cult beauty, writes “There are plenty of solutions out there to support and ease women through this period, but many GPs are not sufficiently trained to recognise or treat the symptoms”. She also adds that “most private insurance policies don’t even cover the menopause and most workplaces don’t have a menopause policy”, despite it affecting 51% of the population.

Taking supplements to rebuild and ‘top up’ the natural collagen in your body can ease many of the symptoms that go hand in hand with menopause. Where skin elasticity may decline, if collagen supplements are taken it will stimulate collagen production, improving wrinkle depth, elasticity and hydration. Not only is our skin affected during menopause, but our hair becomes more brittle and thins. Hair loss can prove to be a significant and hugely unwanted symptom of menopause. Collagen provides essential amino acids which can help to strengthen hair. Hair is made of keratin, a protein found in collagen, so when this is restored, hair will become healthier and can prevent breakage and shedding.

Another worrying symptom of menopause is reduced bone density post-menopause. Taking collagen orally can promote healthy tissue regeneration and healthy joints which can prevent and alleviate the pain associated with osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint conditions.

Collagen supplements can be taken at any age, but if you want to keep your skin youthful and your joints feeling supple, you might want to consider adding collagen to your diet to help tackle some of the symptoms of menopause (even before they start!).