A list of the 34 symptoms of menopause

We’re not kidding when we say there are a lot of possible symptoms of menopause. We’ve listed 34 of them below. 

Every woman is different, so you may experience a mix of symptoms and each can range from mild to severe impact on your wellbeing. Just remember that if you’re going through one of these symptoms, so are others. You're not in this alone!

  1. Irregular periods - during peri-menopause, it is common for your menstrual cycle to become irregular, with periods coming more often or less often than before. 
  1. Hot flushes - these are an uncomfortable feelings of overheating that can happen in waves and are sometimes triggered by caffeine. We've written more about hot flushes here.
  1. Night sweats - hot flushes that happen at night are called night sweats. If these are persistent and disruptive to your sleep, please see your doctor.
  1. Fatigue - feeling exhausted or fatigued is common, and can be a result of poor sleep or hormone imbalances.
  1. Water and gas bloating - can be caused by hormonal changes during menopause.
  1. Vaginal dryness - happens due to decrease in oestrogen levels, and can lead to painful sex. We recommend talking to your GP about this symptom, as it won’t improve unless treated. You can read more about this here.
  1. Digestive problems - can happen as your body goes through peri-menopause.
  1. Headaches - are a less common symptom, but occurs in some women during peri-menopause. 
  1. Body shape - changes in hormones and metabolism can change how weight is distributed in our bodies, leading to an increase in fat around the midsection. A naturally slowing metabolism contributes to weight gain.
  1. Breast soreness - similar to breast soreness during pregnancy or before your periods, this can happen during menopause.
  1. A hot mouth - also described as a burning tongue, this unpleasant sensation sounds peculiar but  happens to some women. 
  1. Joint issues - is one of the most common symptoms that people don’t necessarily realise is menopause-related. This can have a big impact, so we recommend talking to your doctor about it. If you'd like to read more on joint pain, see this article.
  1. Dizzy spells - unexpected dizziness or light-headedness can happen during menopause.
  1. Muscle tension - tight muscles are usually a sign of stress, and there can be plenty of stress during menopause! We recommend trying relaxation exercises or using a roller to improve muscle tension. 
  1. Electric shocks - these can be confusing, but they’re thought to happen because of neurons firing erratically during menopause, usually after a hot flush. 
  1. Pins and needles - also described as a tingling sensation.  We’ve all experienced these at one time or another, but here they may happen more regularly. 
  1. Formication - a crawling sensation on your skin, sometimes similar to pins and needles.
  1. Heart palpitations - feeling your heart beat irregularly can happen due to misfiring neurons and has been linked to hormonal changes.
  1. Gum issues - dental symptoms are another menopausal change, and some women report a taste of metal in their mouths.
  1. Lack of focus - sometimes referred to as brain fog, this is when you have trouble concentrating, and is a common symptom that affects many of us. 
  1. Lapses in memory - forgetting everyday words or even entire conversations can be part and parcel of going through menopause. This can be a frightening experience, but is a common symptom. We've written more about cognitive symptoms and brain fog here.
  1. Irritability - increased irritability, or in some cases total rage, has been reported by many women experiencing menopause. 
  1. Anxiety - we’ve heard from women who would never describe themselves as anxious suddenly feeling incredibly anxious during peri-menopause. 
  1. Panic attacks - can also occur as a result of increased anxiety, but fortunately these are not a common symptom.
  1. Lower libido - changes to your libido or sex drive can happen due to lower hormonal levels, especially lower testosterone.
  1. Mood swings - you may be feeling joyful one moment, and full of rage the next. We’ve heard this symptom described as an emotional see saw.
  1. Low moods - feeling low can be a result of hormonal changes, and it’s important to speak to a knowledgeable healthcare professional who can help you distinguish between depression and menopause-related low moods.
  1. Itchy skin - can also be a result of dry skin, and is associated with a decline in oestrogen. 
  1. Thinning hair - is a part of ageing, but the drop in hormonal levels during menopause may accelerate hair thinning and hair loss. 
  1. Brittle nails - is when nails break easily. Nails (and hair) are made of keratin, and oestrogen is essential in keeping keratin strong. 
  1. Poor sleep - can happen as a result of hormonal changes or because other symptoms are keeping you up at night. Read more about sleep issues and menopause here.
  1. Urinary incontinence - there are different types of urinary incontinence, which you can read about here. 
  1. Body odour - changes happen in different areas of the body because of reducing oestrogen levels that affect bacterial makeup, hydration and heat regulation. Areas where odours may change include your armpits, vagina and mouth.
  2. Hayfever & allergies - new allergies or changes to allergies have been reported on during menopause, likely due to oestrogen’s effects on the immune system.

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