Medically speaking, there are 34 official symptoms of menopause. But every woman is different!
While it’s probable that you’ll experience some of the symptoms on this list during menopause, not all symptoms happen to all women, and not all symptoms hang around for the whole time.
So what are the 34 symptoms of menopause?
Let’s break it down.
In this article: 📝
- Menopause symptoms 101
- Some of the most common signs of menopause
- 34 menopause symptoms treatment
Menopause symptoms 101
The average age of menopause is 51. But starting menopause in your 40s or your late 50s is also quite normal.
So there’s no saying These are the symptoms of menopause at 50. And there’s not much point in asking What are the worst symptoms of menopause? Your journey is unique.
One thing that all women share, though, is that all of the 34 signs of menopause happen as your body stops producing estrogen. It turns out this hormone is important for more than just controlling ovulation.
When your estrogen levels are unusually high or low (such as when your menstrual cycle is winding down), it can affect everything from your digestion, to your nervous system, to your mental health, to your skin.
Some of the most common signs of menopause
- Irregular periods. This is probably the number one symptom of menopause, and one of the earliest signs that you’re entering perimenopause.
- Hot flashes. Hot flashes are one of the best-known menopause symptoms. They’re also one of the most common. As many as 75% of women have hot flashes at some point during menopause.
- Night sweats. When a hot flash happens at night, you’ll often wake up in a sweat.
- Dizziness. Dizzy spells are another common symptom of menopause.
- Stress incontinence. It’s common for a little bit of urine to escape when you sneeze, laugh or exercise. Doing regular Kegels can give you a bit more confidence in your pelvic floor.
Menopause and the way you look
The hormonal changes that happen during menopause can also alter your appearance in some ways:
- Thinning hair. Estrogen and progesterone keep your hairs in their growth phase for longer. Without them, you might shed hair faster than before.
- Brittle nails. Your nails need keratin to stay strong. Want to guess what’s partially responsible for your keratin levels? Yep. Estrogen and progesterone.
- Weight gain. As your metabolism changes after menopause, it’s totally normal for the shape of your body to change and for you to tip the scales a little heavier.
- Body odor. This one is a combination of sweating more and chemical changes in your body affecting your natural scent. It might well continue as one of the post-menopause symptoms at age 60 or beyond.
Menopause and your energy levels
It’s really common for your energy levels to tank during menopause. Lack of sleep doesn’t help, but fluctuating hormone levels can make you feel drained even if you’re sleeping like a baby. Which brings us to:
- Insomnia. Unsurprisingly, night sweats and other symptoms like leg cramps can mess with your sleep.
- Fatigue. You know when you feel flat and tired during the day, no matter how much sleep you get?
- Difficulty concentrating. Again, menopause brain fog might be connected to a bad night’s (or week’s) sleep, or it might be hormone-related.
- Memory lapses. Most women experience days when they struggle to concentrate during menopause. A few have real frustrations with their short-term memory. This symptom tends to get worse later in menopause and can be a common post-menopause symptom.
Menopause and mental health
If you had to manage any of the following symptoms during your period, menopause makes them more likely and can make them worse:
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
Menopause and sex
- Vaginal dryness. Your vagina is naturally self-lubricating, but only if there’s enough estrogen in your body. When your ovaries stop producing estrogen, things can dry up and [sex can become painful])(https://www.peanut-app.io/blog/painful-sex-after-menopause).
- Decreased libido. Whether this one is to do with your hormones or how you feel in your body, many women report a lower libido during menopause.
Menopause and digestive health
- Bloating. Your digestive system is really sensitive to changes in your hormone levels, so bloating is often one of the first signs of perimenopause. It can be due to retained water or excess gas.
- Constipation. Constipation is a pretty common symptom during menopause for the same reason – your digestive system wants to take things slow.
- Burning mouth. Your body produces less saliva than usual during menopause. This can lead to an uncomfortable hot feeling on your tongue, lips, or the inside of your cheeks.
- Changes in your sense of taste. Usually, this is a metallic taste that doesn’t go away when you brush your teeth.
Pain during menopause
Lots of women would say that menopause is a pain. But you’re well within your rights to mean this literally as well. Either your hormones themselves or the effect they have on your tendons and inflammation levels can cause pain in a few different areas:
- Sore breasts
- Joint pain
- Tense muscles
And let’s also mention:
- Osteoporosis. Because your bones become naturally more brittle after menopause, your chance of being diagnosed with osteoporosis increases as you get older.
Nervous system symptoms
It turns out your central nervous system is also used to relying on estrogen. While your neurons adjust, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Irregular heartbeat. Also known as heart palpitations.
- Tingling. Or numbness, or burning, especially in your hands and feet.
- Electric shocks. Yes, you read that right. ‘Electric shock syndrome’ feels like a rubber band snapping under your skin. These uncomfortable ‘shocks’ often happen before or after a hot flash.
Finally, it’s common for your skin and your allergies to become more sensitive during menopause.
- Itchy skin. Your skin after menopause is usually drier, thinner, and less elastic than it was before. It loses moisture more quickly, and you’re more likely to develop a contact allergy to something you touched.
- New allergies. Your hormones are really closely linked to your immune response, so it’s not uncommon to become allergic to new things during menopause.
34 menopause symptoms treatment
If any of the signs or symptoms on this list are making your life more difficult, there are lots of things you can try – from lifestyle changes to supplements to hormone replacement therapy.
You’ll find more information in these articles:
We’d always recommend speaking to your doctor about your options. Even natural supplements can sometimes interact with other medications, and your doctor might want to check for other underlying conditions.
And if you need a listening ear, the Peanut Menopause community is always there.