Bathing In Cold Water: Relieves Menopausal Symptoms

Women who often swim in cold water find that they get significant improvements in symptoms related to the menopause.

This is shown by a study from University College London (UCL).

The study is published in the journal Post Reproductive Health. 1

1114 women participated in the study, and 785 were in menopause. The aim was to investigate the effect that swimming in cold water has on health and well-being.

The results showed that menopausal women who often swim in cold water experience a significant improvement in anxiety, mood swings, bad mood, and hot flashes.


A majority of the women reported that they bathe in cold water precisely to relieve symptoms. According to the news release from the university 2, some women describe that it provides an immediate dampener on both anxiety and stress when they bathe in cold water. Others describe it as “healing”.

A 57-year-old woman stated: “Cold water is phenomenal. It has saved my life. In the water I can do anything. All symptoms (physical and mental) disappear and I feel at my best”.

One of the authors behind the study, Joyce Harper at the Institute for Women’s Health, UCL, says in the news release that cold water has also been shown in other studies to improve mood and reduce stress. Ice bathing has also long been used for recovery among athletes.

– Our study supports these claims, she says and clarifies that their study also shows that this activity can be used by women to alleviate physical symptoms such as hot flashes and pain.

The researchers also investigated whether ice bathing affected menstrual symptoms.

711 women in the survey experienced menstrual symptoms. Almost half said that ice baths had a positive effect on anxiety. Many people find that it reduces mood swings and irritability.


How often the women in the study swam, for how long, and what they wore was also an important element in this picture: Those who swam for a long time had a more pronounced effect. The women wore swimwear, not wetsuits.

Another point of this activity is that you get out into nature, and often you do it with friends and can therefore have a positive effect on the community it provides. 

The researchers specify that there is also a certain risk that comes with this activity. Care must be taken to avoid, among other things, hypothermia. Drowning will also be a danger in connection with this. 

  1. Pound M, Massey H, How do women feel cold water swimming affects their menstrual and perimenopausal symptoms? Post Reproductive Health Journal 2024. 
  2. Cold water swimming improves menopause symptoms, UCL News, 2024