What Are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause?
Life changes and so do our bodies. It's completely natural when women reach menopause age and stop having menstrual periods permanently. However change isn't always easy. As you prepare for this next stage in life we hope this blog helps guide you on your journey, whether your body has started to transition or whether you might just be at an age where it could happen soon.
First it's important to remember that though a women's physical ability to have children ends at this stage of life, it doesn't have to drastically change your world. Though being prepared may help you transition as your hormone levels change and adjust during the time of menopause. According to many healthcare providers, menopause usually occurs between age 45 and 55, but can occur earlier or later. The transition may happen slowly and is said to be complete when menstrual periods have stopped for one year.
Here is what you need to know...
Why Does Menopause Happen?
In women, menopause occurs when their ovaries cease producing reproductive hormones as they age.
Several changes occur in the body when levels of:
- luteinizing hormone (LH)
- follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
In women, FSH is the hormonal substance responsible for stimulating ovarian follicles (eggs) to grow during the first half of their menstrual cycle. The remaining eggs produce less estrogen as menopause approaches, and the ovaries become more resistant to FSH.
There are many body parts affected by estrogen, including blood vessels, the heart, bones, breasts, uterus, bladder, and skin. Many of the symptoms of menopause are thought to be caused by a loss of estrogen. Plus a decrease in testosterone production occurs when the ovaries go through menopause which can cause changes as well.
When the flow becomes heavier and longer, women typically notice that their periods become less regular. This usually occurs in late 40s and early 50s. Women in the United States experience menopause at an average age of 52.
What Does Menopause Feel Like?
Your daily life can be affected by menopause and perimenopause symptoms, including relationships, social life, work, and family life.
Everyone feels it differently. Symptoms may vary from person to person.
You'll normally start to notice symptoms over the course of months or years. This is during your perimenopause stage.
Changes to your periods
A change in the normal pattern of your periods is usually the first sign of the perimenopause, but not always.
Eventually, you will no longer have periods.
Mental health symptoms
Menopause and perimenopause are characterized by mental health symptoms such as:
- Anxiety, mood swings, low self-esteem, and low mood changes
- A lack of concentration or memory (brain fog)
Menopause and perimenopause are characterized by the following physical symptoms:
- During a hot flush, you feel heat and cold in the face, neck, and chest that can make you feel dizzy.
- Feeling tired and irritable during the day because of difficulty sleeping due to night sweats
- A palpitation is a sudden increase in heart rate
- A worsening headache or migraine
- Joint pains and muscle aches
- Weight gain and changes in body shape
- Itchy and dry skin are common skin changes
- Sexual drive is reduced
- Itching or discomfort during sex due to dryness and pain in the vaginal area
- A recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI)
What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause?
Changing levels of estrogen can affect each woman's body differently. Below is a list of 34 perimenopause symptoms you can expect.
1. Night sweats
A night sweat might be causing you to feel sweaty or have a soaked pillowcase when you wake up. Your hypothalamus, the brain's central thermostat, may be causing these episodes.
2. Hot flashes
Hot flashes occur when you feel sweaty, flushed, or hot suddenly. Menopause is characterized by this symptom.
3. Changes in mood
Your mood can be affected by changing estrogen levels. One moment you might feel energized, and the next you may feel blue or down. It is normal and expected for women to experience these changes during menopause
4. Changing menstrual periods
The menstrual cycle will change as your hormone levels change. The cycle may be longer or shorter, or bleeding may occur. As your periods begin to slow, you will eventually not have a period for a year, which is called menopause in medical terms.
5. Decreased sex drive
Sex drive is controlled by the same hormones that control menstruation. A decrease in libido is normal during menopause. As a result, getting sexually aroused may be difficult for you.
6. Vaginal dryness
Your vagina can have difficulty producing natural lubrication when your estrogen levels decrease. As a result, the vaginal area can become dry.
7. Breast tenderness
The nipples and breasts of many women experience soreness during perimenopause. In time, this symptom will go away, as with many of those associated with menopause.
Changing hormones can cause headaches to increase during menopause. If you have a migraine history, this may be especially true.
9. Changes in taste
You may experience a change in your taste for food during menopause. A fluctuating hormone level can have an adverse effect on your mouth's environment.
10. Burning mouth sensation
You may experience changes in hormone levels if you sense an increase in taste sensitivity or tingling, burning, or tenderness in your mouth.
You may experience paresthesia in your hands or feet if you are experiencing menopause symptoms. If you suspect that there is another cause, you should speak with a medical professional.
12. Feeling tired
A very discouraging symptom of menopause is fatigue. In many cases, women feel overtired during menopause because they are unable to sleep well.
13. Joint pain
You may experience joint pain if your estrogen levels decrease. As a result, you may suffer from inflammation and arthritis in joints like your hips and knees.
The gastrointestinal system can be affected by menopause. Water retention and digestion can be influenced by your hormones.
15. Other digestive changes
Hormonal changes during menopause can also affect the bacteria in your gut. You might feel gassy and react to foods you didn't normally react to before because of this.
16. Electric shock sensations
Menopause can cause some women to feel as though they are experiencing an "electric shock." Both fluid and hormone levels may change, affecting the nervous system.
17. Body aches and muscle tension
Musculoskeletal changes can occur during menopause. As a result, you may feel tense or aching.
18. Trouble sleeping
Sleep may be affected by fluctuating estrogen levels for several reasons. During perimenopause, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Your hydration status is greatly affected by the hormone estrogen. You should take care of your skin as well. Your skin can become itchier when it dries out.
20. Memory problems
You may also experience memory changes during menopause. A hormonal change or a lack of sleep may be the cause.
21. Problems concentrating
Menopause can also affect your concentration, so you may have trouble concentrating during this time.
22. Brittle nails
Your body can produce different proteins during menopause, including keratin. Your nails grow and are strong because of keratin. It is possible that your nails will become cracked, brittle, or weak during menopause.
23. Hair thinning
Changes in hormone levels cause hair loss during menopause. The feeling can be distressing, but it is normal.
24. Stress incontinence
During menopause, you may experience changes in your peeing pattern. There may be an increase in urgency or frequency in your urination. Physical therapy can help you overcome this problem during menopause.
25. Gaining weight
Metabolic and appetite functions are controlled by hormones. These two factors may be taken for granted by you. You may experience hungrier feelings during menopause or have difficulty losing weight.
Allergies may be more prevalent in women going through menopause. IgE antibodies, which are linked to allergies, can be affected by hormones.
27. Feeling dizzy or faint
Hormone fluctuations can also affect insulin levels. The hormone insulin regulates your blood sugar levels. The perimenopause can lead to dizziness or fainting for some women.
28. Irregular heartbeat
A racing or pounding heartbeat is one of the symptoms of menopause. An irregular heartbeat, however, should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Other causes of this symptom can be ruled out by them.
29. More fragile bones
Bone density decreases in women during and after menopause. As a result, they are more likely to suffer from broken bones.
During menopause, you may feel irritable. These life transitions can cause a variety of symptoms that can be challenging to manage.
31. Body odor
Sweating or fluctuating hormone levels may cause you to smell differently.
During menopause, anxiety may be more prevalent. A fluctuating hormone level can cause this. For a diagnosis, you should consult a healthcare professional.
33. Panic disorder
Panic disorders can also be triggered by menopause, just like anxiety can be caused by menopause.
Low mood may be caused by hormonal changes during menopause. A persistently low mood may indicate depression, though. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience this symptom.
How long do symptoms last?
An average person may experience perimenopausal symptoms for four years. During menopause and postmenopause, these symptoms gradually subside. Postmenopausal women haven't had a period for one year.
It is common to experience hot flashes and hot flushes during perimenopause. In one study, women with moderate to severe hot flashes endured them for as long as 10.2 years after perimenopause. Generally, hot flashes last for a longer period of time than that.
Having menopause before 55 is possible for women. Early menopause occurs when a woman is under the age of 45 when she goes through menopause. Premature menopause occurs when you're 40 or younger and menopausal.
Premature or early menopause can occur for a variety of reasons. Surgical intervention, like a hysterectomy, may cause women to go into early or premature menopause. Also, chemotherapy and other conditions or treatments can damage the ovaries.
Although menopause occurs at an average age of 51, it can affect women of all ages from their 30s to their mid-50s. Smokers and underweight women tend to experience an earlier menopause, while overweight women often experience a later menopause. Generally, women reach menopause around the same age as their mothers.
Want to manage symptoms naturally?
Did you know that while these common symptoms exist... it doesn't mean you have to live with them! Check out our Menopause Supplements here and learn more about how you can manage symptoms naturally.
Also remember that you are not alone! It can help finding support through fellow S'moo Babes. Join our free community today and connect with women going through similar hormone changes.